Gmail Introduces Emoji Reactions for Android Users

Image credit: Google Blog

Gmail is rolling out emoji reactions for its Android users. These rumors, finally confirmed by Google, bring a touch of familiarity akin to Apple’s iMessage reactions.

Emoji Expressions, Now in Your Inbox

Gmail users can now stylize their email responses with a spectrum of emojis. When words fall short, emojis come to the rescue. And here’s the interesting catch: these emoji reactions are exclusive to Gmail. They won’t work in emails opened through other providers like Microsoft Outlook or Apple Mail.

However, there are some limitations to keep in mind. Emoji reactions can’t be sent from work or school accounts. Nor can they be used in group emails or messages with more than 20 recipients. They’re off-limits in BCC emails, messages with custom reply-to addresses, or if you’ve already sent more than 20 reactions to the same message.

Fortunately, Gmail has got your back with an “undo” feature. Depending on your “undo settings,” which you can only adjust on your computer, you’ll have a window of 5 to 30 seconds to retract an emoji reaction you’ve just added. Simply tap “undo” to make it disappear.

How to Use Emoji Reactions on Android

To use emoji reactions in Gmail on your Android device, follow these simple steps:

  1. Update your Gmail app on Playstore.
  2. Open the Gmail app on your Android phone or tablet.
  3. Navigate to the message you want to reply to.
  4. Tap “Add the emoji reaction” below the message.
  5. Choose the emoji that best conveys your reaction. You can explore additional emoji options by selecting “More +.”

Google Will Still Uphold Email Standards

Email, a technology hailing from the 1970s, has now evolved to accommodate emoji reactions. While this feature offers a refreshing take on email communication, it remains proprietary to Gmail. If you send an emoji reaction to someone not using an official Gmail client, they’ll receive a separate email with your emoji reaction. Google aims to preserve email standards, even as it introduces these novel features.

However, once you’ve sent an emoji reaction, there’s no turning back. Except for Gmail’s “Undo send” feature, which grants you a brief grace period for reconsideration. Beyond that, your emoji reaction becomes a permanent part of the email thread.

But don’t rush to send emojis to your boss just yet. Emoji reactions are exclusively for casual emails among friends. They’re not for business or school accounts, group email lists, messages with numerous recipients, encrypted emails, or emails with custom reply-to addresses.

For those who might find emoji reactions overwhelming, there’s no apparent way to disable this feature. So, embrace the emojis and let your Gmail conversations come alive with expressions that transcend words.


Bal M

Bal was BTW's copywriter specialising in tech and productivity tools. He has experience working in startups, mid-size tech companies, and non-profits.

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