Google today announced a new service that will allow for end-to-end encryption on its Messages app. The company noted that it would be rolling out this feature over the next few weeks to people who are part of the app’s open beta program.
After many Reddit users noticed that Google was testing end-to-end encryption for chat groups in October, they made the change official in their latest announcement.
In 2020, Google began testing end-to-end encryption for individual RCS conversations. As of June 2019, the feature was deployed to all users on its Messages app.
Google has been encouraging manufacturers and carriers to adopt RCS – a type of enhanced text messaging with features like typing indicators, delivery notifications, and read receipts. It’s also been running campaigns for Apple to adopt this standard for its own Messages app. That would allow people using Android phones to send richer multimedia messages with better photos and videos to their friends on iPhones.
Apple hasn’t responded to Google’s latest nudge yet, but Google did.
“Today, all of the major mobile carriers and manufacturers have adopted RCS as the standard — except for Apple. Apple refuses to adopt RCS and continues to rely on SMS when people with iPhones message people with Android phones, which means their texting is stuck in the 1990s,” Neena Budhiraja, group product manager for the Messages app said in a blog post.
The green-versus-blue bubble has been around since the earliest days of text-based messaging, but hopefully Apple will get the message and remove it soon. We’ve all been waiting long enough! Happy birthday, SMS! You had a good run, but we’re ready for something better now.
To help users share their experiences on both iPhone and Android, Google has added features like reaction support for texts.