Google Is Bringing End-to-End Encryption to RCS Messaging

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Rich Communication Service (RCS) which is the spiritual successor to SMS is here with us. Over the past few months, we’ve seen Google enable Chat features in more and more regions via its Google Messages app on Android.

As this feature rolls out to more and more users, there has always been a looming issue: the lack of end-to-end encryption.

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Google Messages RCS Availability Map

This has made users whose devices don’t come with Google’s Messaging app shy away from installing this on their devices and instead, resort to other instant messengers (like WhatsApp and Telegram) that offer encryption.

Well, this hurdle that’s been seemingly holding back this ‘iMessage for Android’ is set to be a thing of the past as Google is reportedly working on enabling end-to-end encryption for Google’s RCS.

For Android users who use Android Messages, one-on-one chats will eventually be end-to-end encrypted by default, meaning neither carriers nor Google will be able to read the content of those messages.

Google Messages RCS encrypted

At the time of writing, Google says that the end-to-end encryption is available for users that are on the Google Messages app’s Beta program.

Google has already¬†released the technical paper¬†on how it has implemented encryption and while this is still a limited test run, it should be hitting all Google Messages users in due course, even though we don’t have any concrete timeline for the same.

It is pretty impressive and commendable to see Google taking the reigns and rolling out RCS to millions of users across the globe and circumventing carriers who’ve been pretty unwilling and sluggish in adopting this.

This move to introduce end-to-end encryption to Google Messages brings the platform to par with other services. Hence, offering a more secure platform. How well this translates for the adoption of RCS remains to be seen.