For the past 18 months, Google has been rolling out the next-gen messaging app for Android users. It will replace old, insecure, and clunky SMS messaging apps. The company now says that the rollout is complete, with the next plan being to bring end-to-end encryption to the app in 2021.
Rich Communications Services is Google Android’s answer to Apple’s iMessage. It comes with typing indicators, read receipts, and all the bells and whistles you expect most messaging apps to have.
In a blog post, Google says it plans to roll out end-to-end encryption. It will start with one-on-one conversations that leave the possibility that the encryption may be applied to group chats later.
Beta coming soon
The E2EE encryption will be available to beta testers who sign up here, starting in late November, all the way into 2021.
The best part about E2EE encryption is that it prevents anyone, including Google, from intercepting or reading the messages when they travel between the sender and the receiver.
That kind of security is pretty much the standard these days, so much so that Zoom came under fire for not having it implemented and implying they would only have it for paid accounts.
Allo and the lessons Google learned
Google decided to get involved in end-to-end encrypted messaging in 2016 when they launched Allo. The app was criticized by security experts, who did not understand why the security feature was not enabled by default. Users had to access it and turn it on before it could work.
Two years after that, Google decided to cancel the project.
It would appear that this time, Google learned a lesson because Android Messages will have E2EE encryption by default, as soon as the feature is available.