Google Messages adds support for reactions to iPhone texts and in-app reminders • TechCrunch
Google has left no stone unturned in pushing Apple to adopt Rich Communication Services (RCS) which the browser claims will improve cross-platform communication. With little or no luck so far, Google is marching forward with what it can: beefing up its Messages RCS client on Android with new features to make life a little easier for those on the other side of the green bubbles.
Google Messages adds a number of new features such as the ability to react to messages sent from the iPhone, set reminders and also has an in-app YouTube video player to watch videos without leaving the messaging app.
Rich Communication Services, or RCS, is a collaborative effort by a number of industry players to supplement traditional SMS with modern features such as richer texts with read receipts, typing indicators, high-quality video sharing, stickers and end-to-end encryption. Google, Samsung and a number of other companies, including telecom operators, have introduced support for RCS on via 500 million users worldwide in recent years – but the Apple sphere remains immune to it. In recent quarters, Google has been aggressively working to port new features to RCS and its messaging app.
Google originally appeared update to the Messages app in March that allowed users to see iPhone users’ reactions to a text. It now adds the ability to send reactions to iPhone users.
There was a heated debate about the whole green and blue balloon thing. When iPhone users chat with other iPhone users, their text is displayed in a blue bubble, indicating that they are using iMessage, which offers features like reactions and animated Memoji. When an Android user sends an SMS to an iPhone user, it appears in a green bubble, which is just like plain old SMS without any rich media features.
Google has been pushing Apple to adopt RCS so that users on either mobile operating system can experience features like high-quality video sharing, read receipts, typing indicators, stickers, and more—but Tim Cook & Co. she didn’t give in. The new Messages update is at least bringing some cross-platform backlash.
Google is also rolling out some features that are widely popular in other chat apps like WhatsApp and Telegram. The first is the feature to star messages to save important details such as addresses, codes, phone numbers or a favorite meme. You can access these messages by tapping on the three-dot menu and going to the starred section.
With the new update, users can also reply to individual messages in a group chat. Additionally, they can also watch YouTube videos through the in-app player.
What’s more, the Messages app will now let you set in-app reminders that can be useful for events, birthdays, and anniversaries. After you set these reminders, they will appear when you open the app. Unless, of course, you don’t want to use Google existing solutions to tasks and reminders.
Google mentioned fetching voice transcription on the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro at an event earlier this month. Now, the company is enabling this feature for the Messages app on the Pixel 6, Pixel 6 Pro, Samsung Galaxy S22, and Galaxy Fold 4.
Google is also testing some location-specific features. In some regions — Google didn’t specify which ones — the company allows users to chat with businesses they find through Search or Maps in the Messages app. The company is also partnering with United to allow passengers on flights to send messages via RCS using in-flight Wi-Fi starting this fall with support on most carriers.
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