Google has officially launched the revamped Android Messages app update that ensures ‘reactions’ from iPhone users now appear as emojis, rather than awkward text strings.
The feature, described by Google as a way to experience “more connection with your iPhone friends”, is one of a number of new and improved tools on the way to Android users as part of the latest feature drop.
“Reactions from iPhone users will now appear as emoji on text messages — just like when you’re messaging with someone using an Android device,” Google says of the feature, which has been in beta testing for the last few months.
The update also ensure videos sent from Android users no longer look like they were shot on a phone from two decades ago. You’ll be able to send them in the same resolution via Google Photos links that will play in-line within the message thread.
Elsewhere within messages, there’ll be nudges to reply to messages, while birthday reminders for your friends, personal and business tabs and auto deletion of one-time password messages after 24-hours. Overall, it should makes Android Messages far more palatable to use.
Beyond that, the Google Gboard keyboard app is getting a grammar checker, which works “entirely on your device to detect grammatical errors and offer suggestions to help you bring your thoughts to life.” When you’re ok with grammar taking a backseat, the keyboard will now offer 2,000 new “emoji mashups”
Elsewhere, Google is making its Live Transcribe feature (pre-installed on Samsung and Pixel devices) available to all Android users as a free download, while users will also be able to pay for their parking via the Google Assistant.
Users of the ParkMobile app in the US will be able to say: “Hey Google, parking status” and “Hey Google, extend parking.”