In order to better compete with Apple’s iMessage and Meta’s WhatsApp, Google’s Messages app is receiving a number of upgrades. However, one feature that aims to make emoji message reactions more uniform may at first irritate people using non-Android phones or third-party SMS texting apps on Android. The Messages app will now let you react to any text with an emoji, according to a blog post published on Thursday.

However, if a conversation is not carried out via RCS, the texting protocol Google uses to offer more robust capabilities in its Messages app, it will do so by sending an SMS text that specifies the emoji used while citing the message the reaction is intended for. This is comparable to the way the iPhone handles emoji responses in text messages sent between iPhone and Android users.

The Verge on Twitter: "There's a reason Apple gives Android users a green bubble in iMessage" / Twitter

Google developed a function earlier this year that converts texts from an iPhone into the proper Android device emoji reaction. At a roundtable discussion with reporters, Google’s Jan Jedrzejowicz, the product lead for Messages, explained that the feature is intended to give uniformity to the Messages app rather than completely removing the reaction capability from conversations that aren’t RCS.

Regarding the potential initial appearance of the texts in iMessage from Apple, Jedrzejowicz stated it will be up to Apple to choose whether or not to parse the texts into the proper emoji reaction. Inline answers, YouTube video playback within a discussion, and proactive suggestions based on texts within a conversation are all features that will be added to Messages in upcoming versions.

Google's Messages Update Might Cause More Green Bubble Grief With iPhones - CNET

These options could be to set a reminder if a birthday is mentioned, to “star” a message if it contains a crucial detail (like a door unlock code), or to schedule a Google Meet to call if it is noted that a meeting has to be scheduled. If you find these recommendations to be overly obtrusive, you can disable them. The voice message transcription function, which was first available on the Pixel 7, is also seeing more users.

Along with Samsung’s Galaxy S22, Z Fold 4, and Z Flip 4, the Pixel 6 range will have that capability. Messages, Phones, and Contacts will all have overlapping blue shapes on the redesigned icons for the Google Messages app. To offer free RCS texting on planes via in-flight Wi-Fi, Google will collaborate with United Airlines.

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Google's Latest Android Messaging Update Has Some iMessage Vibes | Flipboard

This is comparable to other airline options, such as free texting using apps like iMessage and WhatsApp. While many of these functions are already included in competing for messaging programs, their importance is increased given Google’s ongoing campaign to persuade Apple to adopt the RCS texting standard.

Due to its ability to handle capabilities that SMS and MMS cannot, such as typing indicators, better-quality images, and message encryption, RCS is being promoted as a successor to these older standards. However, Google is mostly in charge of RCS, and the standard isn’t typically made available outside of the company’s Messages app for Android.

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