Tuesday, September 27

Google is making it easy for Android users to text their iPhone friends – here’s how

If you are on Android and regularly communicate with friends and family using iPhone via text messages, you may have seen them send strange descriptive texts in response. Think “I liked a picture”, “laughed at a picture” or “emphasized [message text]. «

These are not written by a human. What’s happening here is that Android is doing its best to translate iMessage ‘reactions’, where iOS users can reply to messages with an emoji. He’s just doing a pretty poor job.

But now Google is rolling out a Google Messages update that will make the app a bit better at decoding emoji and displaying reactions as originally intended, rather than as descriptive texts.

(Image credit: Google)

The change was first detected by 9to5Google after the site decompiled the latest beta (10.7) version of Google Messages. Inside, the site found a feature called “ios_reaction_classification” with the description of “displaying iPhone reactions as emoji.”

While iOS has a different set of reactions that are available in RCS chats, Google seems to be taking this into account with a way to “map” a reaction to the closest approximation available within Android.

After the initial publication, a reader with early access to the feature contacted with the site to show that mapping in action.

(Image credit: 9to5Google)

According to the site, the heart-eyes emoji’s response to the phrase ‘that was a nice like’ is Google’s translation of the iPhone’s ‘love’ reaction, which feels like a decent approximation. If you tap on any reaction, Google Messages will display the text “Translated from iPhone” (as shown in the third screenshot) to emphasize that something might be lost in the translation.

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Another thing to note from this demo: If an iPhone user changes their reaction after posting, this will also be reflected in Google Messages. Notice how the heart’s eyes reaction changes to a ‘laughing with joy’ emoji between the second and third screenshots.

While this won’t affect users who have migrated their messaging habits to WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and Telegram, it will certainly make dealing with iMessage fans on Android a little easier when the change comes out of beta and is available to all Google Messages users.


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