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Apple cheekily takes credit for Android Messages fix

Apple has cheekily sought to take the credit for the new iMessage reactions appearing in Messages on Android phones, despite it being a Google feature.

Marques Brownlee associate David Imel has drawn attention to an item listed on Apple’s “New features available with iOS 16” page.

One of these so-called new iOS 16 features is listed under the title “SMS Tapbacks on Android”. The description states that the feature enables you to “React to SMS messages with a Tapback, and a corresponding emoji reaction will appear on recipients’ Android devices.”

As Imel mentions, this is something that Google itself has had to hard code into its Messages app for Android phones. Prior to this measure, reactions added by iPhone/iMessage users (aka Tapbacks) would result in weird and unrepresentative text translations on Android phones.

Thanks to Google’s efforts, which it announced way back in January, these ‘Tapbacks’ are now represented by an appropriate emoji-like symbol in corner of messages within the Android Messages app.

As 9to5Google points out, this could be an innocent case of Apple’s marketing department conflating Google’s efforts with Apple’s new way of handling mixed iPhone and Android group chat messages in iOS 16.

Alternatively, it could just be another case of Apple trolling Google and Android users. At the beginning of September, Apple CEO Tim Cook told a questioner to “Buy your mom an iPhone” in response to a complaint over the way video messages were translated from iOS to Android.

Google, for its part, has been ramping up pressure on Apple to “fix texting” by adopting the RCS standard.

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