Google is making Messages even more like iMessage, but still won’t get you that blue bubble

Messaging is everything these days, but you don’t have to take our word for it. After years of sputtering out on failure after failure, Google is finally attempting to master messaging through RCS. Today, it’s announcing an all-new slate of features coming to Google Messages over the next few weeks, all designed to improve your conversations and group chats between Android devices and, in some cases, even between Android and iOS.
No, Google’s not announcing some sort of partnership with Apple — though it continues to push its Get the Message social campaign to pressure the company behind iMessage. Instead, Google is officially adding emoji reactions to SMS and MMS messages, just under a year after adding tapback responses to RCS chats.
It’ll help create some consistency between conversations, though it’s far from a flawless experience. While Android users chatting within an MMS-based group chat will see these reactions, iOS users will get a basic “[emoji] to [message]” text instead. The same goes for one-on-one communication between the two platforms. Google stresses this lack of cross-platform support as yet another reason it wants Apple to add RCS support to iMessage, though it sure sounds like that’s not happening any time soon.

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