Google beats Apple to the punch with this long-requested messages feature

Messages app displayed on an iPhone
Messages app displayed on an iPhone (Image credit: Joe Keller / iMore)

If you've been using iMessage for the last few years, you've likely gotten used to the ability to react to a message. If someone sends you a message, you might choose a message reaction over sending a message back.

However, with iMessage, you are currently limited to the number of reactions you can choose. Apple has also created custom reactions for messages. The reaction options you currently have access to is a heart, thumbs up, thumbs down, HAHA, exclamation point, and question.

Google seems keen on jumping ahead of Apple in terms of what kinds of reactions you can make to a message and, instead of creating more custom reactions, wants to use a communications tool that we have all gotten very used to: emojis.

Google Messages wants you to react with emojis

As reported by 9to5Google, Google is adding the ability to react to a message with any emoji that you want. Reacting to a message will still suggest a small number of emojis, just like iMessage's custom reactions, but you'll now also have the option to dive into and choose from the full range of emojis.

Google Messages emoji reaction

Google Messages emoji reaction (Image credit: 9to5Google)

Reacting to messages with an emoji isn't necessarily new in some form as people use it all of the time. However, until now, you've had to send a separate message with the emoji rather than being able to attach it to the message you wanted to react to.

This is a great idea that Apple should really think to adopt. The company's recently started to get reactions to play nicer between iOS and Android but, with Google's last update, reactions now show up as separate messages on iPhones. Google really turned the table on Apple with that move as the opposite used to be true.

Google has continued its peer pressure campaign on Apple to adopt RCS and, with the rollout of full emoji reaction, that pressure is mounting.

Joe Wituschek

Joe Wituschek is a Contributor at iMore. With over ten years in the technology industry, one of them being at Apple, Joe now covers the company for the website. In addition to covering breaking news, Joe also writes editorials and reviews for a range of products. He fell in love with Apple products when he got an iPod nano for Christmas almost twenty years ago. Despite being considered a "heavy" user, he has always preferred the consumer-focused products like the MacBook Air, iPad mini, and iPhone 13 mini. He will fight to the death to keep a mini iPhone in the lineup. In his free time, Joe enjoys video games, movies, photography, running, and basically everything outdoors.