RCS support in Google's Messages app brings with it several benefits over traditional SMS texting, like the ability to chat over Wi-Fi and read receipts. Now Google is making RCS in Messages — also known as "Chat" — even better.
Google confirmed today that it's adding reactions to Messages conversations. With this feature, you can long press on a message in the chat and respond with an animated emoji reaction, like heart eyes, a thumbs up, an angry face, and more.
This is a feature that Apple has offered in iMessage for a while now, and so we're glad to see Google's Android equivalent getting reactions, too. This feature is meant to make it fast and easy for you to react to a photo, video, or chat message you've received. Not only do you save time by not having to hunt down the specific emoji you're looking for, but the reaction is attached to the message, making it clear what you're reacting to as well.
Reactions are available in Messages with chat features enabled.
Google confirmed a few other notable features for Messages today, too. Smart Reply is expanding to include suggested stickers, so when you've got Smart Reply turned on, you can quickly respond to a message with an appropriate sticker instead of plain text.
It's easier to send a voice message in Google's Messages app now, too, because you can just hold down the microphone in the compose bar to record and attach a message. If you'd prefer to move the text chat to a video call, you can just tap the video call button in the top right corner of the Messages app to move to a Duo video call with the person you're chatting with.
Finally, Google is building a media editor into Messages so you can take a photo with the in-app camera and then add a quick doodle or bit of text.