How to Enable End-to-End Encryption on Google Messages

Google announced last month that end-to-end encryption (E2EE) will be available for RCS messages in the Google Messages app on Android soon. According to numerous reports, this feature is already being rolled out to beta testers on Google Messages, which means it will likely appear in the regular version of the app soon.

This is a pretty big deal. Adding E2EE to any form of communication adds an extra layer of security to the conversation and to all messages and files in it. Encrypted messaging apps are nothing new; E2EE conversations are available in WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Apple Messages, Signal, Telegram and many more apps, but the launch of E2EE in Google Messages is an important update.

Google Messages supports RCS messages, which are quickly replacing SMS as the standard text messaging protocol. RCS messaging is better than SMS in many ways, but it wasn’t until Google developed the universal RCS protocol known as Chat that the technology finally became widespread. However, unlike other RCS protocols, Chat lacked E2EE. This came as a blow to privacy-minded users and advocates who hoped RCS would be a more secure SMS replacement.

Don’t worry, there is nothing more.

How to use E2EE in Google posts

To try the E22EE right now, you need to register for the Google Messages beta program on Android. Otherwise, take your time, as this feature will be available to everyone in the upcoming update to the stable version of the application.

From there, you will need to enable chat features in messages:

  1. Click the three-dot button in the upper right corner, then click Settings.
  2. Select “Chat Features”.
  3. Turn on “Enable Chat Features” .

Encrypted conversations display a padlock icon next to the “delivered” tag under the last message sent, as well as on the “Send” button.

Please note that E2EE Google Message only fires when both parties to the conversation are using the latest app on devices and mobile networks that support RCS messaging (most of them). All other conversations, including group chats, will remain unencrypted. It is theoretically possible that group chat encryption could appear in a future Messaging update, but Google hasn’t indicated that such a feature will appear.

[ Android Police ]


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