Android’s iOS-friendly emoji reactions officially launch in major Google Messages update

We’ve known for months that Google has been working to make its Messaging app properly display emoji reactions sent by iPhone users. Now Google is making the feature available to all as part of a host of new and updated features for its Messages app that are rolling out over the coming weeks.

The beta already gave us a pretty good idea of ​​how Google Messages translates emoji reactions sent by iOS users, properly formatting them on Android instead of appearing as a confusing text message that arrived separately.

Despite Google’s capitulation, it still says it wants “Apple to join the rest of the mobile industry and adopt RCS” for a better long-term solution.


The Google Photos sharing link and emoji reactions in action.
Image: Google

Google is also building a Google Photos sharing link directly into Messages to offer users a way of sending photos and videos to non-RCS (read: iPhone) users to avoid image quality degradation. Google Messages will also now nudge you to respond to a message if it’s been sitting in your inbox for a while (much like Gmail’s been doing for years), as well as prompting you to wish someone a happy birthday if you’ve got the date in your contacts app. Oh, and links to YouTube videos shared in Messages will now display a preview for iOS users as well, which is nice.


Messages will now sort your personal and professional correspondence, and nudge you to respond to messages.
Image: Google

Finally, a pair of Messages features Google first debuted in India last year are getting a global release. The most interesting of these is an option to automatically delete one-time passcodes after 24 hours to avoid your inbox getting cluttered with useless six-digit codes. There’s also a new option to have Google’s software automatically sort your messages and let you filter them by “Personal” and “Business.”

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