Google Messages might soon add end-to-end encryption for RCS

Google Messages, which earlier this month surpassed one billion downloads on the Play Store, might soon add end-to-end encryption for RCS messaging, according to 9to5Google. RCS has been viewed as the spiritual successor to SMS and MMS messages for some time now in addition to being a competitor to Apple’s iMessage, which already offers end-to-end encryption.

Code strings showed up in a “dogfood” test version of the app meant for the firm’s employees, which indicated that the work to allow users to send end-to-end encrypted messages via RCS is well underway. The strings referring to the service had been sometimes shortened to “e2ee:”

  • End-to-End Encrypted Rich Communication Service message
  • Send end-to-end encrypted message
  • Chatting end-to-end encrypted with %s
  • End-to-end encrypted message

Until now, much isn’t known about when the Mountain View firm would be widely rolling out this update, or what are the exact requirements for using this service. However, to send and receive RCS messages, users require a stable internet connection. In case one of the users has a poor connection, Google Messages will offer to send the message through SMS or MMS to ensure it goes through. Users will be informed that SMS and MMS aren’t encrypted, in addition to being asked for consent.

  • Resend as chat
  • Send unencrypted messages?
  • ”SMS/MMS texts aren’t end-to-end encrypted.nnTo send with end-to-end encryption, wait for improved data connection or send messages now as SMS/MMS.”
  • Send unencrypted
  • Wait
  • ”SMS/MMS texts aren’t end-to-end encrypted.nnTo send with end-to-end encryption, wait until %1$s has data connection or send messages now as SMS/MMS.”

The code updates do suggest a setting that might permit users to decide whether to let other Android apps see the encrypted messages as well.