Google Messages now interacts better with iMessage: if an iPhone user puts a reaction to a message, those who own an Android device no longer receive a descriptive message, but it is applied the correct icon just like on the official Apple client. The previous approach was much less elegant and caused much more confusion in the conversation view. The “before and after” screenshots should dispel any further doubts about the actual need for action.
It is interesting to note that clicking on one of the Reaction Emojis the Android user will see a small notice in the pop-up saying that the content has been “translated from iPhone”. Apparently the “translation” isn’t exactly 1: 1, in the sense that some Emojis have a slightly different shade between the two platforms. For example, what on the iPhone is shown as a red heart on Android becomes the heart-eyed smiley. The meaning, of course, always remains rather simple to interpret. Note that iMessage users can change their reaction at a later time as well, and Google Messages is able to reflect this change.
In our country iMessage is not used very much – in the end, WhatsApp remains the most popular. However in other markets, such as the US, it is still the de facto standard. For the moment it seems that the distribution is not yet widespread: perhaps A / B tests are simply underway as usual at Google, perhaps (another custom) it was simply decided to leave calmly to avoid the excessive spread of unexpected bugs. In any case, the functionality was somewhat anticipated: traces had already been discovered some time ago by rummaging through the code of a Beta build.