iOS has supported the ability to react to specific messages for a bit of time now, but it hasn’t always been a universal feature. Meaning, if you happen to find yourself in a group chat with a person (or persons!) using an Android phone, those reactions wouldn’t display properly. It all looked a little muddled. But, with the next software update on the way for iOS, that’s changing.
For iOS users, to be clear. Nothing is changing for Android users, it seems. However, it should be a welcomed change anyway, if only because the previous way of doing things was not the cleanest. And for folks who find themselves in group conversations with both iOS and Android users, adding reactions might just make the conversation even harder to follow.
With iOS 16, Apple is making it so that message reactions in a group conversation will now show properly for all the iOS users in that particular conversation. Again, this appears to be just for iOS users. Which means it’s making the group conversation a bit more like an iMessage conversation, rather than the standard SMS group conversation that it really is thanks to the addition of Android users.
You can see what the iOS 16 update adds to the mix, and, just below, you can see what it looks like in previous versions of the mobile operating system:
It’s absolutely not the biggest change for iOS 16, or even iOS users in general. By now, a lot of folks in group conversations that include Android users have probably just gotten used to how this all works in its current state. Maybe they’ve even opted out of adding reactions to messages for that reason. But, even a small change can have a big impact at some point in the future. And, in this case, Apple’s just cleaning things up, improving the overall experience for iOS users.
And that’s good news!
iOS 16 is expected to launch later this fall as a free update.