Android users will be able to interact with emoji reactions sent by Apple iMessage users more readily for the first time. When users of the Google Messages app send a message to someone on Apple’s iMessage platform, they receive a response with a reply to the message, but not an emoji. Instead, they receive an SMS that says “Loved” or “Liked,” followed by the original message. This, however, is about to change.
According to Droid-Life, the Google Messages Beta is getting a new feature that allows users to view an iPhone user’s reaction for the first time. The app now shows an emoji instead of a “Liked” text, and the Google app on Android converts an iMessage user’s reaction to an appropriate emoji. The tool had been in experimental testing with a small group of users until recently, but it has finally begun to roll out in Google Messages.
If you’re using the Google Messages beta, click to Settings > Advanced > Show iPhone reactions as emoji to enable the new feature. It’s great to see this feature finally implemented, although it’s not without flaws. An iMessage user’s “laughing” reaction will be represented by an emoji (in this case, the “face with tears of joy” emoji for Android users). Rather than a full integration, it’s essentially a translation that tries to identify the nearest relevant, appropriate emoji.
Notably, the new feature only works in one direction. An Android user cannot respond to iMessage messages sent by an Apple user. Apple will have to implement the RCS standard or design its own workaround to support reactions on iMessage from Google Messages, according to Android Authority. We don’t think that will happen anytime soon.