Some code discovered within recent Gmail updates for iOS and Android mentions that the feature is ‘coming soon.’
Google is developing emoji reactions for Gmail that would make the email platform feel a little more like a messaging app if released. The feature was first reported a few weeks ago by The Tape Drive after some code was discovered in the iOS Gmail app that would allow users to react to emails with an emoji, just like similar emoji reaction implementations found on rival platforms like Outlook.
Additional evidence has since been found in the latest Gmail APK for Android that supports the claim. As reported by Google leaker AssembleDebug, the APK contains several lines of code that directly refer to emoji reactions. Details are a tad sparse, but one line from the APK code says the feature is “coming soon” and that “you’re among the first Gmail users to get an emoji reaction” — suggesting it will likely roll out in a limited fashion before it gets a full public release.
According to AssembleDebug, Gmail users will be able to use emoji reactions directly from the email screen or the three-dot overflow menu, though the latter option is currently disabled. There are also some limitations mentioned in the code that say some emoji reactions can’t be used on encrypted messages, large groups, or if you’ve been bcc’d. There may also be a limit of 20 emoji reactions for a single email, and at least some messages will have a limit of 50 unique reactions.
Google hasn’t publicly announced that it’s working on an emoji reactions feature. When asked for confirmation, Google spokesperson Madison Cushman Veld told us to “stay tuned” with the following statement: “😉,✋📻.”