Google Messages becomes a stronger iMessage challenger – Android Central

Google today announced a couple of changes rolling out to Messages. Some of which have been spotted during Google’s usual “will they or won’t they” server-side testing phasing, all of which are available now.
First, Google is adding reactions to the app. Just like Facebook Messenger, iMessage, Twitter, you can now long-press on a message in a chat and react to it with one of seven emoji to indicate “like, love, laughter, surprise, sadness, anger, and dislike”. Google is also adding a new media editor for quick edits to a photo before you send it off. It’s something that other messaging apps like Messenger, iMessage, and Snapchat offer, and it’s good to see it make an appearance here as well.
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Google is also adding sticker support to Smart Reply, voice messages, and Duo integration. Those last three don’t particularly rely on RCS or Chat, but the first two would benefit from both sides having them.
Google’s Messages app is a very competent one and all these features would make it a desirable messaging app if it reached critical mass. As Google has yet to share any stats regarding adoption, we can’t say how close or how far away that line is.
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