Google Messages now translate iMessage reactions into emojis
Google's latest update to its Messages app narrows the gap between Android and iOS users a bit more. Apple's iMessage allows users to react to messages but when they interact with Android users via the app, those reactions get converted into text messages. Now, Google Messages will display the iMessage users' reactions as emojis. The updated feature has already started rolling out on Android.
Why does this story matter?
There have always been compatibility issues between Apple's product ecosystem and Android devices. For instance, iPhones and Android cannot natively exchange data over Bluetooth. The same applies to the transfer of WhatsApp data. With the new feature, Google is inching closer to making some elements of Android resemble their implementation on Apple. It is also beneficial for those who participate in group chats.
Emoji translations may not be accurate all the time
9to5Google reports that the search giant's latest update to the Messages app allows it to translate iMessage reactions into Android emojis. The conversion does cause some differences, though. When the iPhone users sent a heart emoji for the love reaction, a Messages user reportedly received a heart-eyed emoji. Additionally, when the Android user taps on a received reaction, the app states "Translated from iPhone."
Before this feature, Android users received walls of text
Previously, if an iMessage user reacted with a laughing emoji to a text from an Android user that read "Hello user," the Android user (on Google Messages) would get a reply message that read "Laughed at 'Hello user'." Clearly, this was not the most efficient way for a cross-platform interaction and resulted in walls of text for the Android user.
Google Messages could soon remind you of your contacts' birthdays
Besides the emoji translation feature, Google Messages is also reportedly working on a birthday reminder that presumably works using Google Contacts data. In a teardown of the app, 9to5Google discovered that if you open a chat with someone celebrating their birthday that day, you will see a banner reminding you to wish them, accompanied by a bouncy cake animation.