The most recent update to Google Messages seems to be able to show iMessage responses. Such responses from Apple’s chat service will be displayed as emojis within Google Messages after the update. The feature appears to be rolling out slowly at the moment.
9to5Google discovered the change in its APK Insights series. Previously, iMessage responses within Google Messages were translated to text. For example, if an iMessage user responded with a thumbs up to a message that read “Hello,” it would show up as “Liked “Hello”” in the Google messaging service.
After the update, the thumb is actually displayed as an emoji with the message, 9to5Google shows in its article. It seems that certain responses are not translated one-to-one. For example, the heart from iMessage is converted to the heart-eyes’ emoji in Google Messages. The ‘ha ha’ iMessage response is shown in Google’s messaging app as a smiling emoji.
Google Messages itself also got support for emoji responses last year. However, its implementation differed from the ‘Tapback’ responses in iMessage. As a result, responses from the two services were not mutually compatible. That is now being changed. It looks like the update is rolling out to users gradually.
‘Tapback’ responses from iMessage. Source: Apple