Trusted Reviews is supported by its audience. If you purchase through links on our site, we may earn a commission. Learn more.

Android is finally fixing how it handles iMessage reactions

Google is making a change to its stock Messages app that’ll rid an annoyance for Android and iPhone users alike.

A forthcoming change will display as emoji the ‘Reactions’ sent from Apple’s iMessages, rather than explaining them as text.

Currently, users of both operating systems will see a message saying something like “James loved “text of the message””.

Other reactions include liked, disliked, emphasised and questioned and iMessage-to-iMessage exchanges showcase them as icons in the top left corner of the message or image.

That will still be the case. However, when an Android user is involved, there’ll be no more of those annoying text explainers clogging up the message feed. They’ll appear as emoji. Hopefully, this means that iPhone users won’t see the text explainers anymore either.

The fix is currently rolling out and was first spotted by 9to5Google over the weekend. In a recent beta for Messages the site noticed “show iPhone reactions as emoji” within the code.

However, it was interesting to see the site’s interpretation of the situation in its reporting:

“Surely every Android fan has at least one friend with an iPhone who insists on using reactions even though you don’t use iMessage.”


In our family, it’s that single Android user messing up the message feed by the reactions having to be explained to them. Just goes to show there’s still life in the old iPhone vs Android rivalry yet, even in the era where so many of us are using alternate, multi-platform messaging services.

Of course, it could all be academic if Apple would just allow its vastly superior iMessages platform up to Android users.

Have you noticed the change within your Android messages app yet? Let us know @trustedreviews on Twitter.

Why trust our journalism?

Founded in 2003, Trusted Reviews exists to give our readers thorough, unbiased and independent advice on what to buy.

Today, we have millions of users a month from around the world, and assess more than 1,000 products a year.

author icon

Editorial independence

Editorial independence means being able to give an unbiased verdict about a product or company, with the avoidance of conflicts of interest. To ensure this is possible, every member of the editorial staff follows a clear code of conduct.

author icon

Professional conduct

We also expect our journalists to follow clear ethical standards in their work. Our staff members must strive for honesty and accuracy in everything they do. We follow the IPSO Editors’ code of practice to underpin these standards.

Trusted Reviews Logo

Sign up to our newsletter

Get the best of Trusted Reviews delivered right to your inbox.

This is a test error message with some extra words