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iMessage reactions are officially rolling out to Google Messages

This feature has been in the testing phase since November of last year.

iphone and samsung text reactions
Image: KnowTechie

Android users rejoice. You’ll now be able to see when someone on an iPhone reacts to one of your Google Messages via Apple’s Tapback reactions. First spotted back in November, the feature is officially making its way to Google Messages for Android users.

Previously, when an iPhone user reacted to an Android user’s text message, the reaction would display as “loved” followed by the message it was responding to. Naturally, this confused everyone, and the Android user eventually followed up the message with replies like, “what?” Here’s an example of what I’m talking about.

Now, Android users will see the Tapback reaction in the bottom-right corner of the message, similar to how it is displayed in the Messages app on iOS. To paint a better picture of what I’m describing here, here are a couple of screenshots of the beta in action, graciously sourced from the folks at 9to5Google:

imessage reactions google messages
Image: KnowTechie (via 9to5Google)

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As 9to5Google points out, Google mapped out the reactions differently from how Apple does them. For example, if someone on an iPhone reacts with a “heart,” Google Messages will display it as a “smiling face with heart-eyes” emoji. Likewise, “Haha” gets converted to “Face with Tears of Joy.” 

As we mentioned in an earlier post, this isn’t an exact translation of Apple’s reactions, but it definitely gets the point across.

Google Messages will display these reactions by default. Still, if you want to turn them off (I honestly don’t know why you’d want to), you can disable them in the Messages menu by heading to Settings > Advanced and switching off “Show iPhone reactions as emoji.”

READ MORE: Google Messages is finally Samsung’s go-to messaging app for US users

“When people with Android phones and iPhones message each other, not everything works the way it should,” Google’s Jan Jedrzejowicz, a group product manager for Google’s Messages and Phone app, wrote in Google’s Thursday blog post announcing the features. 

“That’s because these conversations rely on SMS, an outdated messaging standard, instead of RCS, a modern, more secure industry-standard Android uses that enables high-quality videos, emoji reactions, end-to-end encryption and more.”

Google says iMessage reactions should be rolling out slowly over the next coming weeks, so if you don’t see it now, just know it’s on the way. Finally.

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Kevin is KnowTechie's founder and executive editor. With over 15 years of blogging experience in the tech industry, Kevin has transformed what was once a passion project into a full-blown tech news publication. Shoot him an email at kevin@knowtechie.com or find him on Mastodon or Post.

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