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Update for Google Messages rolls out now turning iMessage reactions into emoji

Update for Google Messages rolls out now turning iMessage reactions into emoji

It’s the modern, digital version of the Hatfields and McCoys. We are talking about the blue text bubble vs. the green text bubble. When an Apple iPhone user is sending iMessages to another iPhone user, the text is inside a blue “balloon.” But if even just one Android user joins a group chat, the bubbles turn green and outrage follows. Yes, iMessages and Google Messages are not compatible.

Google Messages update allowing iPhone reactions to appear as emoji has started rolling out

Just a few days ago we told you that Google was planning on sending out an update to Google Messages that will allow reactions from iPhone users using iMessages to appear as an emoji on Android Messages. Currently, a reaction sent by an iPhone user appears as words on Google Messages such as “Liked an image” or “Emphasized “We’re on our way”.

According to 9to5Google, the update has slowly been rolling out. Screenshots provided by Twitter user jvolkman (@jvolkman) show that reactions sent from an iPhone user resulted in the appearance of the same emoji showing up in Google Messages as though the reaction was sent from an Android user messaging from the RCS platform. Tapping on the reaction on an Android phone shows that it was “Translated from iPhone.”

Not all reactions from iMessages can be perfectly matched to an RCS emoji. For example, the “love” reaction on iMessage becomes the heart-eyes emoji on RCS and the laugh reaction sent from iMessages becomes the laughing face emoji.

RCS or Rich Communication Service is Google’s attempt to provide the iMessages experience for Android users. Instead of using a cellular network, RCS runs through the data network which means that it can be used on Wi-Fi  even if there is no internet connection. Because RCS uses a data connection, messages can contain as many as 8,000 characters as opposed to the 160 character cap on SMS.

Google is reportedly testing a feature that will show a pop up when a person you’re messaging on RCS is celebrating a birthday

With RCS, users can send longer video files and GIFs. They also get read receipts and can see when someone is in the process of typing a message to the. RCS to RCS messages also use blue text bubbles similar to iMessages and end-to-end encryption has been added. Right now, only one-to-one RCS messages can be encrypted which means that group RCS messages are not covered.
Another new feature reportedly being worked on for Google’s Messages app is a birthday reminder that will alert you if the person you are having a conversation with is celebrating his or her birthday on this very day.

With the update beginning to roll out now, you might want to give a call to one of your iPhone wielding friends and ask them to react to a message that you send them. If you see an emoji attached to that message, the update has reached your Android phone (assuming that you are using the Google Messages app in the first place). If not, you can reinstall the Google Messages app from the Play Store and check with your friend again to see whether the emoji appear when your buddy sends a reaction to a message that you’ve sent.

Is the start of some sort of cooperation between Apple and Google that could lead to a universal iOS and Android messaging platform? Probably not. Apple relies on iMessage as a differentiator and there are some iPhone users who selected iOS over Android primarily on the strength of its messaging system.


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