Google has announced that it is rolling out end-to-end encryption to group chats in the Google Messages app. The security update is first targeted to beta users before it rolls out broadly.
Full encryption means that no one, not even Google, can read the message content. It’s already supported in the Google Messages app for one-on-one chats, but now (via Edge (opens in a new tab)) will also be added to group chats.
End-to-end encryption is starting to roll out for group chats and will be rolling out to some users in an open beta program in the coming weeks. Google says (opens in a new tab). “It shouldn’t even be a thought – just an expectation and something that anyone texting shouldn’t worry about.”
From SMS to RCS
In the same blog post with the announcement, Google revealed that the ability to quickly respond to a message with any emoji is coming soon to Google News as well. Only selected emoticons can be used as reactions at this time.
In addition to mentioning these new features, Google continued to push hard for RCS (Rich Communication Services) to become the new standard for everyone – this SMS enhancement technology is now widely available but has yet to be adopted by Apple on its iPhone. y.
The Google post also acknowledged the 30th anniversary of SMS, a milestone that highlights just how old the technology is, as well as how far behind we are now on a standard that could fully replace it.
Analysis: SMS should really go down in history
The advent of texting three decades ago helped change the way we communicate with each other – even if messages were character-limited and many phones could only store a limited number of texts at a time.
Now apps like WhatsApp and Slack have taken us far, far beyond those limits. Messages can be much longer and include photos, videos or audio, and we can even tell when recipients have opened the messages we send.
It is benefits like this that make RCS worth upgrading, improving messaging security and greatly enhancing features like group chats. Google didn’t create the standard, but it strongly promotes it.
However, whenever an iPhone user texts an Android user, SMS is still the protocol used. Google wants that to change, but it’s unlikely Apple ever will – Apple knows iMessage is one of the key reasons people stick to iPhones.