Google today said it is testing end-to-end encryption for RCS-based group chats on its Messages app – RCS stands for Rich Communication Services. The company said that in the coming weeks it will be rolling out this feature to select users who are part of the app’s open beta program.
It comes after a group of Redditors noticed that Google was testing end-to-end encryption for group chats in October. The company’s latest announcement makes it official.
The search giant began testing end-to-end encryption for individual RCS chats in 2020. In June, it rolled out the feature to all users of its Messages app.
Google has pushed manufacturers and carriers to adopt RCS, a supercharged version of SMS with features like keystroke indicators, delivery, and read receipts. He also led campaigns to convince Apple to adopt this standard for its own Messages app. In this way, Android users could send rich multimedia messages with better photos and videos to their friends using iPhones.
While Apple has yet to budge, Google has once again not missed the opportunity to push the Cupertino-based tech giant with the new announcement.
“Today, all major mobile carriers and manufacturers have adopted RCS as a standard, with the exception of Apple. Apple refuses to adopt RCS and continues to rely on texting when iPhone users message Android phone users, which means their texting gets stuck in the 1990s,” said Neena Budhiraja, group product manager for the Messages app, in a blog post.
“I hope Apple can #GetTheMessage so we don’t have to wait to remove the whole ‘green bubble vs. blue bubble’ thing. Happy birthday text – you were a great start and you did a good run, but everyone ready for an upgrade.
Google has also tried to bridge the experience between two operating systems by adding features like react support for iPhone texts.