For years, iPhone and Android users have struggled to close the gap caused by iMessage. All iPhone owners know the sensation of seeing the text turn green instead of blue. Anyone with an Android device is going to be weird in group chat.
Apple also widened the gap with the introduction of Tapback a few years ago. Press and hold the message to see a series of emoji reactions that appear above the text. Unfortunately, these reactions only worked between iPhones. On Android devices, it appears as separate text that indicates that the user liked or laughed at the message.
The inability of Android to handle tapback responses quickly turned into a meme. When iPhone users tried to use this feature in group chat, anyone with an Android phone wasn’t safe from ridicule. Thankfully, Google is finally updating the messaging app to fix this issue.
One of the worst iPhone vs. Android battles is over
Last week, 9to5Google pointed out that Google has released a beta update for its messaging app. As the site pointed out, new settings in the app’s code have revealed that Google messages will soon be able to “display iPhone reactions as emojis.” Later, Google began to make this feature publicly available. As you can see in the screenshot below, the reaction is no longer displayed as separate text.
This was arguably one of the most annoying elements of text messages between mobile operating systems. If you have friends and family who frequently use Apple’s tapback feature, group threads can be flooded with meaningless and confusing fallback text. This should clear myriad text threads so that no one thinks the contact is sending the same message over and over again.
As mentioned above, these iPhone emoji reactions are actually attached to the text on your Android device. When you tap a reaction, a Google message will let you know that it was “translated from your iPhone”. Also note that emojis are automatically converted from emojis found on iOS to Android emojis. The reaction of love becomes a smile with the eyes of the heart, and the reaction of laughter becomes the face of tears of joy. The end result is a more consistent text thread.
The bad news is that not everyone has access to this feature yet. Even if you have the beta version of Google Messages installed on your smartphone, you may not be able to see the reaction of the converted emoji in the app. Google doesn’t say when or if all Android users will have access to this feature.
Will iMessage ever appear on Android?
Moreover, iMessage, which is available on Android devices, is not yet close. As we learned in the court battle with Epic Games, Apple knows how important iMessage is as a tool to lock users into the ecosystem. “Migrating iMessage to Android will not only help us, but hurt us,” Apple SVP Craig Federighi said in a 2016 email. He added that putting iMessage on Android would “remove” it. [an] Obstacles to iPhone family giving children Android phones. “
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