Google started testing end-to-end encryption (E2EE) in messages (especially for RCS group chats on Android OS) and finally saw Google Message end-to-end encryption We are for group messages. Some users who signed up for the beta version of the open source app will have access to the app in the coming weeks before the feature is rolled out more widely. Google announced during its I/O 2022 developer conference that the beta version of E2EE for group chats will be available by the end of this year.
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Google Message end-to-end encryption
You might be wondering how such a messaging app didn’t support end-to-end encryption, but Google’s move comes 18 months after Google Messages started offering E2EE for one-to-one conversations, from chats on Protect against the prying eyes of spies. Google started testing E2EE in the Messages app in November 2020, so it may take several months before the privacy feature is enabled for all group chats.
Many carriers and phone manufacturers have partnered with RCS over the past several years to provide features such as high-quality photos and videos, read receipts, and E2EE. The 30-year-old SMS format does not support any of them. However, there is one company that continues to work on RCS and that is none other than Apple with its iMessage app.
Google has publicly asked Apple to adopt RCS, but so far these efforts have been unsuccessful. In September, Apple CEO Tim Cook jokingly suggested that iOS users who have trouble sending video to a loved one on an Android device should just buy them an iPhone.
However, Google has been working to improve iOS and Android messaging interoperability. Nina Bodhiraja, product manager at Messages Group, wrote:
“Today, all major mobile phone carriers and manufacturers have adopted RCS as a standard except for Apple. Apple refuses to accept RCS, and when people with iPhones message people with Android phones, the only way is SMS, which means texting is stuck in the 1990s.
It goes without saying that there are companies working on ways to access iMessage on other devices. Just this week, the developers of an app called Sunbird claimed to have made iMessage available for Android.