Update: I previously stated that you would soon be able to send reactions to iMessage users from Android, but there is no evidence for this at this time. I have updated the article to reflect this. It was an error on my part as I got carried away on an exciting train of thought – Thanks for pointing this out, Michael Brown!
Currently, iPhone users who interact with their Android using friends – if they can get past the green bubble, blue bubble argument – send reactions to messages, only for their friends to miss out on the fun. Instead of seeing expressive emoji next to a text, those using Google Messages currently just have the contents of what they sent duplicated back to them preceded by the word “liked”, or “loved” in plain text. This is super annoying, to say the least. Back in July, Google added reactions to its Messages app on Android. Now, reactions will be coming to your Messages web app – if you’re lucky – and we hope this means that we’re one step closer to being able to have an emoji reaction war with friends, regardless of their OS of choice.
Having enabled chat features in the app long ago, I’m still not seeing any of the features that Google has apparently rolled out to users – message scheduling, conversation categories, end-to-end encryption, and now reactions. You’ll soon benefit from the ability to hover over a message and choose a reaction to send back to your friends. Hopefully, in the near future, you’ll be able to show your iMessage buddies that Android is finally cool too and that you do, in fact, belong in the same social circles as them. Google has been working for years to standardize RCS, even though it has faced pushback from carriers and is now taking the matter into their own hands.
The update, as with all of the Messages features that many have yet to receive, will be a server-side switch on Google’s end, so the best you can hope for is to be chosen by the algorithm sooner rather than later. Each of the tips that have come in regarding these features has been from users outside of the US and UK, so it’s hard to gauge what Google’s plan is for the rollout. The sooner we can get Google Messages to be on par with iMessage globally, the better – I’m just feeling a bit teased at this point. It’s worth noting that if you enable Google Fi features in the app, you are forced to disable chat features, so that’s unfortunate as well and we’re hoping that this is fixed soon. Are you excited for message reactions in Google’s app? Let us know in the comments!