Google: The upcoming Google Messaging update will add end-to-end encryption support for Android users. Using the RCS protocol, this will ensure greater privacy when sending texts or media to other people.
Encrypted content is available for individual conversations where both parties are connected to the internet (wifi or mobile network). The option does not work with plain SMS – which does not support encryption – or group chats.
The novelty has been in beta testing with selected users since November 2020. Thus, Google uses the same Signal protocol to generate security keys for each message present on the devices involved in the conversation.
How it works
Overall, this will prevent intruders from intercepting cellphone chats. To increase security, a person can share a verification code with another user to prove their real identity.
A lock icon below the messages or the “Send” button will indicate when the content is protected by encryption. Remembering that the feature is only activated when both app users are connected to the internet.
If the device has temporarily lost signal, the system holds the sending until a secure connection is established. However, it is possible to send the content in SMS format without encrypted protection.
Competition with other messengers
The newness of Google Messages can be crucial for the app to compete directly with Apple’s iMessage. As such, the combination of encrypted security with an automatic, seamless experience should appeal to former users.
Furthermore, the app becomes a simpler alternative for those who do not want to use third-party software such as WhatsApp, Telegram or Signal. Just having the updated version of the messenger is enough to use the privacy features.