Google has started offering Rich Communication Service (RCS) messaging to everyone using its Messages app across the world (except China and Russia). RCS messaging is said to be the next thing after SMS messages, as it is not bound by the limitation of carriers. RCS can be used regardless of your phone or carrier, with the only condition being that the person whom a user is communicating with must have ‘Chats’ active within the Google Messages app. Google has named its RCS feature ‘Chats’.
Apart from the global rollout, Google also announced that end-to-end encryption in a beta version of Google Messages is on its way. This will allow for end-to-end encryption on all communications for Messages users. Encrypted conversations is something that can put Google Messages right in the middle of the highly competitive messaging market. Google has also given a set of criteria that certain beta testers will have to meet in order to test end-to-end encryption on Google Messages. Firstly, both the sender and receiver should be beta testers in order to test out end-to-end encryption. Second, both the sender and receiver must be using the beta version of Messages for Android. Lastly, both users should have the ‘Chat’ feature turned on.
There is no timeline as to when Google Messages encryption will land for beta testers, but the company said that is begins this month. It is safe to assume that there will be a beta testing period of at least a few months before a rollout of the encryption feature for non-beta users.