Google will soon allow Messages users to react using any emoji

Google will soon allow Messages users to react using any emoji
If you are messaging a fellow Android user who, like you, uses the Rich Communication Services (RCS) platform that is part of the Google Messages app, you can exchange longer messages, share larger video and image files, get a read receipt, enjoy end-to-end encryption, see a typing indicator, and more. Similar to Apple's iMessage, none of these features will work when someone using another platform (like iMessage) is part of a group chat.

Google Messages users will soon be able to react to a message by sending any emoji

But one thing that Google Messages users can do when talking among themselves, or even texting an iOS user, is react to a message by sending one of seven emoji: thumbs up, smiley face with heart-shaped eyes, laughing with tears, surprised look, sad face with a tear, frowning face, and thumbs down. While those seven emoji will allow you to respond to many different messages, wouldn't you prefer a wider range of possible options?

Before we continue, let's explain how Android users with the Google Messages app can respond to an RCS or Text message with an emoji. Long press on a chat bubble and you'll see a pill-shaped popup containing the seven aforementioned emoji. Just tap on the one that best expresses how you are reacting to a comment.

According to Android Police, Google has started pushing out a feature in the new beta version of Messages that will allow users to access an emoji picker allowing the user to select any emoji to use as a reaction. After the update, when you long press on an RCS or SMS chat, you will see six emoji inside the pill-shaped popup with the thumbs down emoji replaced by a "+" sign. Tap on the plus sign for access to the emoji picker. But Google has yet to disseminate this new feature to a wide audience.

For example, this writer is a beta tester for the Google Messages app yet the new feature is not showing up on my Pixel 6 Pro at this moment. If you are unable to access the emoji picker on your Android phone, don't worry. Eventually, it will roll out for all Google Messages users.

You can constantly check for an update by opening the Play Store app. Tap your profile pix or avatar or initials found in a circle on the right of the search bar at the top of the screen. From there, go to Manage apps & device and tap on the green See recent updates link. That takes you to a list of recently updated apps. At the top of the display, there is a tab reading Updates available. Tap on it and then tap on the Update all button.

Google might end up using a server-side update which means that the company itself will flip the switch and you'll never know until after it happens.

Google tried to pressure Apple into supporting RCS

We have no idea when you will receive the update containing the new feature but we have a gut feeling that it won't be terribly long. Unless, of course, it is.

You might recall that during the summer Google tried to pressure Apple into supporting RCS in a bid to stop the green bubble bullying that goes on when an Android user joins what was an all iOS group chat. When an Android user joins an all-iOS chat, many of the features of iMessage are no longer available and text bubbles turn green instead of blue. The interesting thing is that the same thing applies to iOS users who join an all RCS group chat on Android.

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The only difference seems to be that Android users don't insult and bully those iPhone users who join their group chat which disables the RCS features in the same way that an Android user can disable iMessage features.

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