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Google has started letting some users of its Messages app react to textual content messages with any emoji, as an alternative of limiting them to the usual set of seven which have been obtainable within the app for some time now (through 9to5Google). The characteristic’s much like what different messaging platforms like Slack, WhatsApp, and paid variations of Telegram have — urgent and holding on a message provides you the usual emoji reactions, however you may then entry the picker to react with no matter you need.

The expanded emoji reactions look like a restricted check at this level — 9to5Google says it’s heard two stories of it being rolled out, and whereas one individual on The Verge’s employees has entry to it, two different individuals who checked don’t. Google didn’t instantly reply to The Verge’s request for touch upon the characteristic.

As with any options which can be added to messaging providers, the additional reactions generally is a bit messy relying on who you’re texting, and what communications requirements their telephone helps. They appear to work tremendous if each events are utilizing RCS, the SMS alternative that Google’s been pushing for. My telephone doesn’t have entry to the prolonged picker but, however my colleague’s reactions confirmed up appropriately once I was utilizing Google’s Messages app.

Screenshot of a text saying “Can you react to this message?” A face screaming in fear emoji is added to the message bubble.
I can’t react with this emoji, however I used to be capable of see when somebody reacted to my message with it.

Other configurations can get messy, although. On the identical telephone, which clearly helps RCS, Samsung’s Messages app reveals the response as a separate textual content message, saying “😱 to ‘Can you react to this message?’” The identical’s true when my colleague reacts to a textual content from an iPhone consumer, as these are SMS solely (a lot to Google’s chagrin).

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Screenshot of a text message conversation. One message says “Hi,” and a reply says “face with wide open eyes emoji to ‘Hi.’”
So we’re again to this…

That the reactions don’t translate to iPhones isn’t a shock. For one, Apple’s Tapback system solely enables you to use a selected set of symbols, so it’s unlikely the corporate’s Messages app has the flexibility so as to add an arbitrary emoji to a message. Even if it did, who is aware of if it could; after years of Apple users’ reactions exhibiting up as separate textual content messages for Android users, it appeared as if the 2 firms had labored out an answer, with iMessage’s and Google Message’s reactions translating between the 2 platforms. And but, once I examined it at the moment with the usual reactions, I used to be again to the identical outdated system of getting separate “[emoji] to [message]” texts as an alternative of beautifully-displayed reactions when messaging between an Android telephone and iPhone.

Regardless of no matter Apple and Google have occurring, I’m completely satisfied to see Google bringing this characteristic to its texting platform, even when it’s actually solely elegant once you’re doing RCS chats. It’s a characteristic I’ve at all times wished all over the place, and it looks like Google’s engaged on making that the case, a minimum of for the individuals utilizing its app.

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