google messages RCS encryption

Google Messages Will Test End-to-End Encryption in Beta Later This Month

google messages RCS encryption

Over the years, Google has been slowly expanding its RCS rollout in Google Messages by teaming up with carrier networks in select countries including India. After overcoming several hurdles in the process, Google has finally announced the global availability of RCS in the Messages app.

With RCS, you can send and receive images, videos, and texts over Wi-Fi or mobile data. Google Messages users can now use these enhanced chat features in almost all countries except China, Cuba, Iran, and Russia. The company has published an RCS availability map, which you can check out below.

rcs google messages
Image: Google

Alongside RCS rollout, Google has announced a long-awaited security feature for Messages – end-to-end encryption. End-to-end encryption adds an additional layer of security that makes sure that your conversations remain private.

E2E requires RCS on both sender’s and recipient’s end. The software giant says the feature will be enabled by default whenever available. However, Google is limiting E2E availability to one-on-one chats for now. To help users easily identify if encryption is available, Google has added a neat lock symbol next to the timestamp of the conversation and the send button.

google messages e2e indicator
Image: Google

Google has used the Signal protocol for implementing E2E on Messages. The company has published a technical paper for those interested to know more about how the feature works behind the scenes.

End-to-end encryption will be available in the beta channel of Messages starting this month. Google says the feature will remain in the beta phase until next year but has not exactly revealed when regular users should expect it. If the development team doesn’t face major setbacks, the stable rollout should happen after a brief window of beta testing.

Download Google Messages (Android)

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