iMessage Reactions Finally Rolling Out to Google Messages for Android in Beta

BY Anu Joy

Published 1 Feb 2022


Back in November last year, it was reported that Android users could receive an emoji in response to an iMessage reaction. Now, iMessage reactions are finally rolling out to Google Messages with the latest beta update.

If you’re running the latest build of Google Messages beta, iMessage reactions will be converted to emojis. Instead of getting an awkward text that regurgitates the reaction along with the original text, you will receive the corresponding emoji at the bottom of the message bubble. Previously, if someone reacted to an Android user’s texts with a heart emoji on iMessage, the Android user would receive a separate text saying “Loved” followed by the actual text. This made the entire texting experience clunky and annoying since every iMessage reaction would result in separate lines of text explaining the reactions, instead of the actual emojis appearing on the original reply.

iMessage Symbol Mapping

It appears that Google chose to map iMessage symbols to RCS reactions, and some have not translated well. For instance, the iMessage “Heart” translates to “Smiling Face with Heart-Eyes” emoji and “Haha” converts to “Face with Tears of Joy” on Android. Additionally, the “question mark” becomes “Thinking Face” and the “exclamation mark” converts to “Face with Open Mouth” emojis on Android. However, “Thumbs up” and “Thumbs down” aren’t as ambiguous and are translated correctly.

This feature is enabled by default if you have the latest build of Google Messages beta. If you’re not able to see the reactions, you can head on over to Settings -> Advanced and “Show iPhone reactions as emoji.”

It is to be noted that only iMessage users can react to Android users, but not the other way round. Essentially, the reactions will only work one way until Apple figures out a workaround. Or, just adopt RCS standards, as Google executives have been urging the company to do.

[Via 9to5Google]