A new Google Messages update is on the way that will display reactions to messages from Apple’s iMessage as emojis in the chat, reports 9to5Google. This info comes from decompiling the APK of the latest version of the app, so keep in mind the feature may not end up being publicly launched.
Google Messages might display iMessage reactions as emojis
In case you’re on Android but your friend on iPhone insists on using reactions for text messages, worry not, as Google seems to be planning a way to make this interaction better for you. Right now, if an iMessage user reacts to your message (and you’re on Android), you will receive a lengthy message, describing their reaction such as “Liked an image” or “Emphasized “We’re on our way”. However, in an iMessage group, these are simple message reactions. They become more complicated in a mixed conversation, and a fallback message such as this is sent to Android users, in order to ensure they won’t miss a reaction to their text. In a group chat, these lengthy messages might get annoying and unnecessarily clutter the chat history.
9to5Google has found in an APK teardown of the latest beta update to Google Messages, version 10.7, that Google is looking into replacing these long messages with emojis. This is not yet live in the app, but it suggests Google Messages should be able to intercept incoming iMessage reactions and then “translate” them into an emoji for Android users.
At the moment, it is not clear how exactly this will work, but it could use incoming messages that start with something like “Liked” and try to match it to a previously sent message. It could then hide the incoming iMessage fallback and display an emoji.
However, there’s something that is also necessary to point out. iMessage had a different set of reactions than those available in Google Messages and RCS chats. According to the discovered APK code, Google seems to be aware of this as there is a portion of the code dubbed “ios_reactions_mapping” and could refer to mapping the set of reactions available in Google Messages or mapping them to various emoji.
Google Messages may also be getting Birthday reminders
Another interesting thing the APK teardown revealed is that Google seems to be working on a handy birthday reminder. The Google Messages conversation list might be able to show you directly who has a birthday, of course, based on their Google Contacts listing. Additionally, if you’re in the middle of a chat with said person, you should also be getting a banner reminding you to wish them a happy birthday. The banner may also feature a fun birthday cake animation.
Google Messages: recent new features
Google Messages beta version 10.6.240 shows a bright blue dot that is visible to the right of a message, next to the time of the message. On top of that, the message you still hadn’t read in the app appears in bold type similar to how the subject line of unread emails is displayed in the Gmail app. This feature comes as a part of a server-side update so you cannot manually download it, but you should be seeing the change if you’ve got it in the Google Messages app.