The largest search engine Google announced that it is testing end-to-end encryption for RCS-based group chats on the Messages application. RCS stands for Rich Communication Services. The company also said that in the coming few weeks, a feature to select users who are a part of the app’s open beta program will also be launched.
Neena Budhiraja, the group product manager of the Messages application said in a blog post that, “Today, all of the major mobile carriers and manufacturers have adopted RCS as the standard – except for Apple. Apple refuses to adopt RCS and continues to rely on SMS when people with iPhones message people with Android phones, which means their texting is stuck in the 1990s.”
It is here after some redditors took notice in October that Google was testing end-to-end encryption for group chats. Now that the company has finally announced it, it is now clarified and confirmed. It comes out on the 30th anniversary of the first text message sent and received on a mobile phone via networks.
Back in 2020, Google initially started testing end-to-end encryption for individual RCS chats. In June that year, the feature was launched for all users of the Messages application. The company has kept on pushing manufacturers and carriers to adopt RCS. It is billed as a hypercharged version of SMS which includes features like typing indicators, read receipts and delivery.
They have also been running campaigns to get this standard adopted for its own Messages app and convince Apple. By this, usage of Android to send rich multimedia messages with better videos and photos to iPhone users can happen. Google made another attempt to convince Apple by providing features like reaction support for iPhone texts. But as of now Apple has not responded so it leaves applications like Signal to add RCS support in iOS devices.