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  • Writer's pictureVeronica Irwin

Android and iMessage are finally playing nice

Google Messages users will now see iPhone reactions as emoji. 🙌


“Veronica ‘loved’ an image" doesn’t feel as warm and fuzzy as seeing a big heart spring up at the corner of the message or photo you sent.

And yet Android users have been annoyed by these responses from their iPhone-using friends for years. Apple's iMessage exclusively works between iPhones, and iPhone users can’t download Google Messages from the App Store, which means that iMessage tapbacks (which let you emphasize a message with a heart, exclamation marks and other reactions) show up as texts. Really, really annoying texts.

Until now. Google just announced new messaging features that will translate iPhone reactions into Android emoji, along with a couple other updates.

We knew this was coming when Google teased the update a few months ago and let beta users try it out. But now, it’s official: Heart reactions in iMessage transform into heart-eye emojis on Android, thumbs up and thumbs down become, well, thumbs up and thumbs down, and laughing reactions translate to the laughing with tears emoji.

The update isn’t just about creating “more connection,” as Google’s press release reads. It’s mainly a business move. iMessage has an inherent cool factor, especially among teens, which hurts Android’s ability to sell a phone to young people. If you’ve ever watched an Android user try to keep up in a group chat of all iPhone users, forced to respond to their friends individually in a separate chat, then you know the struggle. Just add the exclusionary dynamics of high school cliques and it makes total sense why kids these days want an iPhone, not an Android.

Making reactions work across texting platforms reduces the very real stigma of being a green bubble. Google also made it easier for Android users to send their Apple counterparts high-resolution photos and videos, so long as they send them as a Google Photos link. And there’s a new autocorrect-like grammar correction, the ability to transcribe audio offline and the ability to turn photos into portraits in the new update, too.

Android users are bound to “love” it.

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