Android implements iMessage reactions in Google Messages

Like us discovered in november and follow The latest push to support RCS on iPhone earlier this month, Google Messages is starting to roll out iMessage reactions in beta to Android users.

Once deployed to your Android phone, Google Messages will convert iMessage responses (officially known as “Tapbacks“) Sent by iPhone users to reply to SMS/MMS. Instead of them appearing as annoying text versions (e.g. Loved “In Testing”), the responses on your device will appear in the bottom right corner of your message bubble sent, similar to the iOS-to-iOS experience.

That said, Google has made some interesting choices in the translation process. IMessage “Heart” becomes emoji “Smiling face with heart eyes”. Similarly, “Haha” is “Facing Tears of Joy.” The “exclamation mark” becomes “The face opens the mouth” and the question mark is the “Thinking face”. The thumbs up/down remain loyal to their iMessage counterparts.

Google’s decision to use face emojis instead of icons could take on a different meaning. The faces become more playful and exaggerated than the simple nature of Tapbacks. Some standardization between Google and Apple won’t matter here.

As pointed out in the comments, Google’s choices for “iPhone react” are suitable for RCS . response, but it’s not 1:1 with six versus seven choices. However, great care must be taken in communication to capture the original intent of the source message, which in this case would be Tapbacks.

This toggle is on by default, but you can manually turn off “Show iPhone reactions as emojis” from the Messages > Settings > Advanced menu item. When you tap on a response, Google explains how it’s “Translated from iPhone” with a larger view of emojis and senders, which is useful for group chats.

iMessage reactions are starting to appear for beta users of Google Messages, but it is not yet widely deployed. We only have it online on one device (Pixel 6 Pro) as of today.

iMessage icon iMessage text Google Messages Emojis
Heart To love 😍
Like Liked 👍
Do not like Do not like 👎
Haha Laugh in 😂
Exclamation mark Emphasize 😮
Question mark Asked 🤔

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James Brien

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