We all know how annoying group conversations can be when one of the bubbles is green, but it’s about to get better. Google’s solution to iPhone “tapbacks” is rolling out to Android phones starting today and it looks pretty slick.
We have not gotten to try the feature since it has not appeared on our Pixel 6 yet, but based on 9to5Google’s screenshots, the implementation is solid. Instead of “Jason liked this message,” Android users will see small emoji under the message rather than above it, but otherwise just like they would if they were using an iPhone. As a result, iPhone users will not have their conversations cluttered with tapback texts.
The emoji do not exactly line up with Apple’s reactions, but they’s relatively close enough where there should not be too much confusion. Here’s what Google has chosen for the six tapback responses:
- Heart: 😍
- Thumbs Up: 👍
- Thumbs Down: 👎
- HaHa: 😂
- Exclamation points: 😮
- Question mark: 🤔
When a tapback comes in on an Android phone, an alert will also pop up on the bottom of the screen that says “Translated from iPhone” with the appropriate emoji.
To get the feature, you must be using Google’s Messaging app and have the Show iPhone reactions as emoji toggle turned on in the Advanced settings. It appears to work with every carrier, though the rollout is staggered. Strangely, the option was initially visible on our Pixel 6, but the toggle disappeared before we had a chance to try it.
Michael Simon has been covering Apple since the iPod was the iWalk. His obsession with technology goes back to his first PC — the IBM Thinkpad with the lift-up keyboard for swapping out the drive. He’s still waiting for that to come back in style tbh.