Google introduces end-to-end encryption for group chats in Messages
Google is rolling out end-to-end encrypted group chats to its messaging service, Google Messages. This is a significant leap as group chat content will now be hard to decode by network carriers and even the tech giant itself. The company has also confirmed that it'll soon let users react to RCS messages with any emoji.
Why does this story matter?
- With the introduction of encrypted group chats, Google Messages is now more private and secure - something rivals like WhatsApp and iMessage have been boasting about for a while now.
- It has been a long-awaited security feature for many. Currently, it is available to some beta Messages users and a broader rollout should happen in the coming weeks.
What is RCS?
Rich Communication Services (RCS) is designed as a modern take on texting. It combines features from Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, and more into a single platform. The protocol allows the exchange of chats, audio, video, and images, in addition to read receipts and real-time viewing. RCS is the primary texting interface for Android. Google currently offers RCS chat worldwide via Google Messages.
End-to-end encryption will add extra security to group chats
Now that the majority of the world population has advanced beyond basic text messages, Google is actively promoting RCS as a worthy alternative to third-party apps like WhatsApp and Signal. The brand claims that all group texts sent using Google Messages will be encrypted, keeping them safe and secure. It promises that the conversation can be seen only by the members of the group.
Google is trying hard to convince Apple to adopt RCS
While most mobile carriers and OEMs have adopted RCS, Apple refuses to adopt modern texting standards, and continues to rely on SMS, said Google in its blog post. The text messages between iPhones and Androids are turned into SMS and MMS, but RCS is designed to work universally, and by using it, Apple can make the messaging experience better for every user.