The latest beta update of Google Messages app version 10.7 reveals that the company is working on improving iMessage reactions’ compatibility on Android devices. According to the discovered preference in the beta code, Google Messages will intercept iMessage reactions and will show them as emojis.
[Update: The feature is now rolling out in beta for Android users but with different emoji translations. The iMessage “Heart” reaction is “Smiling Face with Heart-Eyes” on Google message and more.
When exchanging regular SMS texts between an iPhone and Android smartphone, iMessage reactions appear as a long text instead of the reaction icon on an Android device. For example, the thumbs up iMessage reaction will appear as “Liked an image” text or an exclamation reaction will appear as “Emphasized “I will get it done.”
Google Messages app to replace annoying iMessage reactions notifications with emojis
To eliminate the long and annoying thread of individual notifications of iMessage reactions, Google Message preference will carry out a classification process to match the reaction with an emoji. 9to5Google reports that the classification appears as the following:
Show iPhone reactions as emoji
However, the functionality of the classification is unknown. It is assumed that the app will spot the incoming message and match it to a previous app.
For now, it’s not clear exactly how this “classification” would work, but one would imagine Google Messages would spot incoming messages that start with something like “Liked” and try to match it to a previous message. Once it’s figured out what message is being reacted to, perhaps Google Message will hide the incoming iMessage fallback and instead show an emoji under the original message.
That said, iMessage has a different set of reactions than currently offered by Google Messages in RCS chats. Google may be accounting for this, as there is mention in the code of “mapping” the iMessage reactions, possibly mapping to the set of reactions available in Google Messages today, or perhaps just mapping to various emoji.