Illustration: Alex Castro / The Verge
Google is adding a number of new features to its Messages app for Android, including the ability to reply to messages with emoji reactions, something that’s long been available in other messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and iOS’s built-in Messages app. The feature was first spotted in testing in May, but Google has now officially rolled it out as part of the latest version of its Messages app.
To use an emoji reaction, just tap and hold the message you want to react to and a short list of cute animated emoji will pop up that you can pick from. You’ll only be able to use emoji reactions if you have RCS chat turned on, however.
Here’s a GIF from Google showing how to use emoji reactions and what the emoji will look like:
Google is also adding a new feature to Smart Reply, which already automatically suggests potential responses for you: it can now suggest emoji stickers in addition to just text. Right now, though, the feature is only available in English, according to Google.
Take a look at how the feature works in this GIF from Google:
If text, an emoji, or a sticker just won’t cut it, Google is adding a few other handy tools to help you communicate in Messages, including a new video call button you can tap to go straight from a text conversation to a Google Duo video call and media editor you can use to mark up photos and share them right inside a conversation.