Texting From Android To IPhone? Google's New Update Might Make It Quirkier

Texting From Android To IPhone? Google's New Update Might Make It Quirkier
Google Messages will soon let you send emojis to any phone. Google © Provided by CNET Google Messages will soon let you send emojis to any phone. Google

Google has decided to reach out to Apple's power with its Messages app. The app is getting a slew of updates that will improve the text messaging feature in line with Apple's iMessage and Meta's WhatsApp . But a feature designed to make replying to emoji messages more consistent may initially bother anyone using a non-Android phone or third-party Android texting app.

According to a Thursday blog post, the Messages app lets you reply with an emoji. However, if the conversation isn't via RCS -- the text messaging standard Google uses to enable advanced features in its Messages app -- a text message will be sent that includes the emoji used while mentioning the desired message of the reaction. . This is similar to handling emoji reactions in text messages between iPhone and Android users.

Earlier this year, Google added a feature that converts these iPhone texts into emoji reactions suitable for Android devices .

Google's Jan Jedrzewicz, product manager for Messages, told reporters that the feature aims to encourage consistency in the Messages app, rather than blocking non-RCS conversations from replying entirely. As texts might initially appear in Apple's iMessage, Jedrzejowicz said Apple will decide whether to parse those texts into the appropriate emoji response.

Future news updates will also add in-app replies, the ability to watch YouTube videos in chat, and text suggestions in chats. These suggestions include setting a reminder when a birthday is mentioned, marking a message with an important detail (such as a door entry code), or setting up a Google Meet call if that needs to be configured before a conversation. If you find these suggestions too intrusive, you can turn them off.

Google is also expanding the availability of the voicemail transcription feature introduced with the Pixel 7. This feature will come to the Pixel 6 range, as well as the Samsung Galaxy S22, Z Fold 4 and Z Flip 4.

The Google Messages app gets a new set of icons with blue overlay shapes for Messages, Phone, and Contacts.

Google is working with United Airlines to offer free RCS inflight texting over Wi-Fi, similar to other airline offerings that include free texting through services like iMessage and WhatsApp.

While some of these features are already widely available in competing SMS apps, they're especially important as Google continues to push Apple to adopt the RCS SMS standard . RCS positions itself as a replacement for SMS and MMS because it can support features unavailable in older standards, including text highlighting, high-resolution photos, and message encryption. However, RCS is largely controlled by Google and is generally unavailable outside of the company's Messages app on stock Android.

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