APPLE’S iPhone and Google’s Android are finally starting to speak the same language with at least four clever tricks.

Despite a rocky relationship, the two phones are becoming more compatible with new features that improve communication between devices.

The iPhone and the Android service almost half the global population with a combined 3.5billion users


The iPhone and the Android service almost half the global population with a combined 3.5billion users


Apple’s iMessage Tapbacks feature – hold down on a message to view the six options – are meant to serve as quick replies, according to Apple’s feature description.

Tapbacks have been available since being released in conjunction with iOS 10 in 2016. 

Tapbacks are a social minefield and have produced scores of articles on how to interpret each Tapbacks true meaning.

Whether meant to signal excitement with a double exclamation point, or put a soft ghosting on a relationship with a thumbs up, Tapbacks are part of the digital discourse for iPhone users.

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When an iPhone user would respond to an Android user with a Tapback, it would hit the Android user’s feed with a clunky separate message.

Until now.

Google announced that Android’s processor would translate Apple’s Tapback into a subtle emoji attached to the lower right of the message.

Hi-res videos

In addition to smoothing out the reactions feature, Google is bringing high quality video exchange to inter-device messaging. 

Videos sent to an iPhone user from an Android phone are famously blurry and TechCrunch argues that keeping it that way is a deliberate Apple strategy to keep customers spending hard earned iMoney on their iProducts.

The iPhone does not support Rich Communication Services (RCS), the better encrypted and wifi-powered descendant of SMS.

This is what turns messages from non-iPhones into green chats instead of blue, and makes videos shared from non-iPhones low resolution.

But Google is bringing Google Photos into the messaging platform so a link to a video can be shared and viewed in high resolution, even if its a cross-device exchange.


The Android is also mimicking the iPhone’s nudge feature, which re-notifies users of a message they haven’t answered.

While the iPhone simply buzzes again if a message goes unopened after two minutes, the Android will remind users with a “messages you might have forgotten to respond to” or “messages you might need to follow up on” blurb.

YouTube in chats

Lastly, the Android can now run YouTube videos on the messaging platform, replacing the lengthy URL paired with a mysterious thumbnail image.

iPhone users have long enjoyed the ability to watch a full YouTube videos without leaving the iMessage app.

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The difficulty in getting the two competing devices to talk to each other has sent users to third party apps like WhatsApp or even jailbreaking an Android to force it into running iMessage. 

But with a few programming tweaks, Google has made it so that their Android can get by while speaking iPhone.

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