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iMessage Reactions For Android Users Added In Beta

As we saw in November, and after the latest push to add RCS support for iPhone earlier in the month Google Messages is starting to roll out iMessage responses with a beta version for Android users.

Once it’s installed on the Android smartphone, Google Messages will convert reactions to iMessage (officially called ” Tapbacks“) which are messages sent by iPhone users as a response to MMS/SMS. Instead of appearing as an unwelcome alternative to text (e.g. “Loved “Testing”) Instead, the responses on your device will be displayed in the lower-right area of your message that you have sent, similar to the iOS-to-iOS experience.

That being said, Google made some interesting choices when it came to translating. For example, the iMessage “Heart” is now”Heart” and becomes the “Smiling Face with Heart Eyes” emoticon. In the same way, “Haha” is “Face with tears of joy.” In addition, the “exclamation marks” change to “Face with an Open mouth” as well as the “question marks” will be “Thinking Eye.” The thumbs up and down remain identical to the iMessage counterparts.

Google’s choice to use faces instead of symbols may convey an entirely different message. The face emojis appear more fun and exaggerated than the more straightforward style of Tapbacks. A bit of standardization of the interface between Google and Apple could be beneficial here.

As noted by the commenters, Google’s options in the search results for “iPhone reactions” are mapped in the direction of RCS reactions, however, it’s not exactly 1:1, with seven versus six choices. However, care must be taken in communicating to convey the intended message of the message that was sent and that should be Tapbacks in this instance.

The conversion is turned on by default. However, you can change “Show iPhone reactions as emoji” off by going to the Messages overflow menu Options > Advanced. When you tap on a reaction, Google explains how it was “Translated from iPhone” with a bigger display of the emoji along with the sender’s name. This can be helpful for group conversations. iMessage reactions are beginning to show up on Beta users who are using Google Messages, but it’s not yet available for widespread use. It’s only available only on one phone (Pixel 6 Pro) at present.

Emojis Details

iMessage symboliMessage textGoogle Messages emoji
Thumbs upLiked👍
Thumbs downDisliked👎
HahaLaughed at😂
Exclamation marksEmphasized😮
Question markQuestioned🤔