Android users will soon be able to add emoji reactions to messages from iPhone users through repetitive SMS texts.
A recent report suggests that Google will release several important updates on its Android Messages in the coming weeks. That way, user experience on the texting app will be comparable to Meta’s WhatsApp or Apple’s iMessage.
One such update intends to make emoji reactions more consistent when texting from an Android device to an iPhone.
CNET reports that Android users can now reply to any text with an emoji. However, conversations not conducted over Rich Communication Services (RCS) will be sent directly as an SMS text describing the emoji.
So when texting an iPhone user, the message could read as “Dwight reacted with a Crossed Finger to ‘I hope you win the race.’”
According to Jan Jedrzejowicz, Google’s product lead on Messages, the feature will prevent the blocking of emoji reactions from non-RCS conversations. That way, users can enjoy more consistent communication with third-party messaging apps.
Jedrzejowicz further notes that Apple can decide whether or not to parse those texts into the appropriate emoji reaction on the iPhone.
Another Ploy to Pressure Apple into Adopting RCS?
Is the new feature another attempt to shame Apple into adopting RCS? Well, maybe.
For a while, Google has been pressuring Apple to adopt Rich Communication Services on iMessage.
During its Google I/O earlier in the year, the search giant dedicated an entire segment to explaining why Apple should switch to RCS. Since that didn’t do the trick, Google launched “Get the Message” — a campaign to shame Apple into adopting the messaging standard.
So it’s not far-fetched that the Messages app feature is a way to pressure the iPhone makers further.
RCS is a communication protocol that’s set to replace SMS and MMS since it supports more features. These include message encryption, higher-quality photos, and typing indicators.