Google is rolling out end-to-end encryption to Android Messages users


Posts: 3,017   +590
In context: Back in 2019, Google began rolling out the next generation of text messaging: Rich Communication Services. RCS messaging supports features like read receipts, seamless messaging over wi-fi, as well as named chats, and the ability to add or remove people from group conversations. Now, Google's RCS implementation is poised to receive another significant feature update: end-to-end encryption.

Testers have been enjoying the functionality for months, but Google is only just starting to roll it out to the general public. Well, in a sense -- you have to be using the company's Messages app to be part of this feature rollout.

If you aren't using Messages but would like to, you can snag it from the Google Play Store. After doing so, unlocking end-to-end encryption will require two additional steps. First, visit the app's Settings menu (located by tapping the three-dot icon at the top right of the interface), tap "Chat features," and then switch on the "Enable chat features" toggle.

As for step two, that's even simpler: you'll just have to wait. Since Google's feature rollouts can take anywhere from minutes to days to fully complete, there's no telling when your RCS messages will gain full end-to-end encryption. When the day does come, though, you'll know: Google will slap a handy padlock icon above encrypted chats.

Additionally, even when the update reaches your device, you'll need to ensure the people you're communicating with are also using RCS messaging through the Messages app. If they're not, end-to-end encryption won't activate. Finally, group chats won't benefit from the feature at all, even if all participating parties have access to it.

Masthead credit: Dennizn

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Posts: 4,723   +2,691
You may get if faster if you Join the Beta Program from the Play Store app page. I've had it for months, so now that I know it's being rolled out to everyone, I'll turn it back on.

Thanks for the heads up.


Posts: 594   +541
So how will they read my messages now? or will voice capture be enough?
Telepathically, but some users might prove incredibly resilient to these security attacks, as mind reading is really hard when there is no brain activity to speak of.


Posts: 775   +590
This, in country where I live, would mean every mesaage would cost ~ around $0.5 vs free. So, using 3rd party apps that just use regular internet to send end to end encrypted messages is alive and well and is going no where.
Yes, I am aware of that I live in a shithole, but most countries in the world are even worse.


Posts: 1,297   +970
Good luck using RCS without data connection. It would be nice if RCS worked without data, it sucks to have frequent no network reception patches in UK.