If you have an Android phone, you’re probably used to seeing a line from an iPhone-using friend or family member that they’ve “emphasized” your previous message. What does that even mean? In iMessage speak, that’s a double exclamation mark, or the ‼ emoji.
In the latest beta update to Google Messages, 9to5Google’s code sleuths found a string of code in a preference menu that says “ios_reaction_classification,” which appears to refer to the reaction messages you get specifically from an iOS-based device. It’s followed by “Show iPhone reactions as emoji,” which sounds pretty self-explanatory.
What this sounds like is instead of a line spelling out what the iMessage reaction was, you’ll receive an emoji in response, which is a little more akin to how the reaction feature functions between Apple devices.
Currently, iMessage employs a different set of reactions than what’s offered by Google Messages in its RCS chats. An additional line of code says “ios_reactions_mapping,” which seems to indicate Google will remap the iMessage reactions toward an Android-corresponding emoji.
You’ll have to use your imagination to figure out what this will all look like within the Google Messages interface, as there are no teaser images. It could be something like when the person on the other line “likes” something, the Android user will get a thumbs-up 👍 emoji on the receiving end.
One other new feature discovered in the weeds is the ability to set birthday reminders from within Google Messages. The conversation list will display the recipient’s birthday, though it’s unclear if this pulls from their Contacts listing. Once this feature goes live, you’ll have no excuse not to forget going forward, so prep those animated birthday cards.