Google announced today that Android users will be able to add emoji reactions to SMS text messages received from iPhone users in the Google Messages app. This feature and other improvements to the app will begin rolling out in the coming weeks.


Since the Messages app on iOS lacks support for the Rich Communication Services (RCS) protocol, emoji reactions from Android users will appear as annoying follow-up SMS on iPhone, according to cnet. For example, the message would say something along the lines of “Joe reacts with heart, ‘Let’s go to the movies tonight.”‘

The head of Google’s Messages app, Jan Jedrzejowicz, said: cnet That it is up to Apple to decide whether or not to parse these scripts in the appropriate Tapback reaction on iPhone, similar to how Tapbacks now appear correctly on Android.

This feature appears to be at least a partial attempt by Google to encourage Apple to support RCS on the iPhone, as it will do away with annoying follow-up text messages. Google launched a campaign earlier this year to pressure Apple to adopt RCS, but Apple CEO Tim Cook noted that the feature was not highly requested by iPhone users.

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