Google’s Messages app is getting a collection of updates that can carry the texting app to raised parity with Apple’s iMessage and Meta’s WhatsApp. However one function, designed to make emoji message reactions extra constant, may be initially annoying for anybody utilizing a non-Android cellphone or a third-party SMS texting app on Android.

In line with a blog post on Thursday, the Messages app will now will let you reply to any textual content with an emoji. However when a dialog is not performed over RCS — the texting normal Google makes use of to supply enhanced options in its Messages app — it should do this by sending an SMS textual content that denotes the emoji used whereas quoting the message the response is supposed for. That is much like how the iPhone handles emoji reactions on textual content messages between iPhone and Android customers. 

Google earlier this 12 months added a function that translates those texts from an iPhone into the appropriate emoji reaction for Android gadgets. 

Google’s Jan Jedrzejowicz, who serves as product lead on Messages, mentioned at a reporter roundtable that the function is supposed so as to add consistency to the Messages app reasonably than blocking the response function from non-RCS conversations solely. Concerning how the texts might initially seem in Apple’s iMessage, Jedrzejowicz mentioned it will likely be as much as Apple to resolve whether or not or to not parse these texts into the suitable emoji response.

Upcoming Messages updates can even carry inline replies to the app, the flexibility to look at YouTube movies within a dialog and proactive solutions primarily based on texts inside a dialog. These solutions might embody setting a reminder if a birthday is talked about, a suggestion to “star” a message ought to it embody an vital element (like an unlock code for a door) or establishing a Google Meet name if the dialog mentions needing to arrange a gathering. These solutions might be turned off ought to they really feel too intrusive.

Google can also be increasing availability for the voice message transcription function launched on the Pixel 7. That function will come to the Pixel 6 line in addition to Samsung’s Galaxy S22, Z Fold Four and Z Flip 4. 

The Google Messages app will get a brand new set of icons, which is able to function overlapping blue shapes for Messages, Telephone and Contacts.

Google will associate with United Airways to carry free RCS texting to flights over in-flight Wi-Fi. That is much like different airline choices, which embody free texting over companies reminiscent of iMessage and WhatsApp.

Whereas a number of of those options are already frequent in rival texting apps, they’re significantly related as Google continues to push Apple to contemplate adopting the RCS texting normal. RCS is being pitched as a alternative to SMS and MMS because it’s capable of help options that the older requirements cannot, together with typing indicators, higher-quality images and message encryption. RCS is essentially led by Google, nevertheless, and the usual usually is not obtainable exterior of the corporate’s Messages app on Android.

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