Messages beta bridges the gap between blue team bubble and green team bubble
Google Messages received iMessage-like reactions for RCS chats in 2020, but the solution is not satisfactory for anyone who regularly chats with friends and family using an iPhone. iMessage allows users to react to regular SMS messages with emoji and likes, but these will only be displayed correctly to recipients also using iMessage. The rest of us will receive overly descriptive automated text messages like “[Contact] love [message]”and thus, quickly pollute otherwise clean group chats and harass you with individual notifications for each reaction.
As 9to5Google noticed, this is now a thing of the past: Google Messages has started showing iMessage reactions as they are supposed to look.
An app teardown of the latest beta of Messages (version 10.7) initially revealed that Google was working on an option to properly display iMessage reactions. And now Google has started rolling out the feature widely to people using the beta version of Messages.
The screenshots show how the feature works. On the surface, you won’t be able to tell the difference between these “translated” reactions and RCS messages. None of the usual “[Contact] I liked your post “The texts will appear in your chat history, and Google’s solution even takes into account iPhone users who switch one reaction for another, which is impressive.
Since iMessage replies are, in essence, just SMS messages rendered differently by the iMessage client, Google is able to give Messages similar capabilities. In this way an SMS called “I liked it [message]”may be displayed as similar on the respective text instead. Messages and iMessage use different sets of emoji for their feedback implementations, which could cause issues, but Google takes this into account. In the application code , there is a string called “ios_reactions_mapping”, which helps transliterate messages correctly. When you tap and hold reactions for details, Google basically says, “Translated from iPhone.” Replaced with the face emoji laughing.
While iMessage’s feedback implementation is more than welcome and helps reduce noise, it feels incredibly integrated and hacked when you know how it works. I would much rather see Apple finally implementing RCS on iPhones, which would give Android and iOS users a universal internet-based standard for communicating rather than relying on the old SMS protocol. But I’m guessing Apple has an iMessage ecosystem lockdown to maintain, so we might not see that anytime soon.
The reactions from iMessage are starting to roll out to the latest beta of Google Messages, but it looks like it’s not immediately available to everyone. Still, if you want the chance to get the feature right now, be sure to join the Messages beta program on the Play Store or download the APK from APK Mirror.
UPDATE: 2021/11/22 12:08 EST BY MANUEL VONAU
Reactions from iMessage have started rolling out to the beta of Google Messages. We have updated our coverage accordingly.
In addition, new features are available
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