At long last, Google is rolling out end-to-end encryption (E2EE) in its Android Messages app.
Android messaging has lagged behind Apple iMessage for some time. In most ways, Android messaging has been little better than standard text messages. In contrast, Apple iMessage has offered read receipts, group administration, E2EE, sending files and more.
Google has been working to move Android Messages to the RCS standard, which is far more comparable to iMessage. After waiting for carriers to adopt the updated standard, Google finally took matters into its own hands and started implementing it in Android. RCS was available globally in November 2020, but E2EE wasn’t included initially.
The company is now rolling out E2EE, although with some caveats. Needless to say, both parties must have RCS enabled in order to benefit. In addition, E2EE only works for one-on-one conversations, not groups messages.
While still not as comprehensive as iMessage, the improvements in Google’s Messages will be a welcome upgrade for users.