Google Messages Will Now Show iMessage Reactions as Emojis

BY Anu Joy

Published 20 Nov 2021

Your friend using an Android phone may soon be able to receive an accurate representation of your iMessage reaction. Code sleuths at 9to5Google found out that Android users could receive an emoji in response to an iMessage reaction, as opposed to a textual description of the actual reaction made at the Apple end of the equation. This feature has already begun rolling out for some users.

Currently, SMS is used as a fallback for Android users texting iMessage users. For instance, if you react to your friend’s texts with a heart emoji on iMessage, your Android-using friend will receive a separate text saying “Loved” followed by the actual text. This makes the texting experience clunky and awkward. Group texts get even more annoying with iMessage reactions resulting in separate lines of text explaining the reactions, instead of the actual emojis appearing on the original reply.

In the latest beta update to Google Messages, a string of code that says “ios_reaction_classification” was found in a preference menu. It is followed by “Show iPhone Reactions as emoji”. In other words, an Android-user could receive an emoji (instead of text describing the same) in response to reactions from an iOS-based device.


Meanwhile, Google has been trying to push its Rich Communication Services (RCS) to replace SMS. RCS provides a lot more features than the old SMS, and is used by most Android users. However, Apple has kept its lips sealed over inquiries if it intends to support RCS. Furthermore, the company has admitted to use iMessage to lock users into its ecosystem. Perhaps it also wants Android users to convert if they want to stay in touch with, or in some cases, date iPhone users. This update could mean that you will no longer be the green-text guy who ruins it for everyone else using iMessage group chats.

Do you think this improvement in Google Messages will make the chatting experience with your Android friends less frustrating? Let us know in the comments below.

[Via 9to5Google]