Google is bringing end-to-end encryption to Android messages


End-to-end encryption keeps conversations between the sender and the receiver completely private, no one else gets access to them, not even the maker of the app, the government or the service provider company whose network you are using. This privilege will be within reach to all users of Googles messages app, which is the stock texting application in most Android devices. In fact, Google says it has already started rolling out the update.

End-to-end encryption will only be available for the company’s new SMS standard called Rich Communication Service (RCS). The new format of SMS is supported by most service providers and it is an evolution of the traditional SMS. It makes it possible for the user to get typing indicators to know if the other person is currently writing a response; presence information shows if recipient is online; other features include location sharing, longer messages, and better media support. RCS enables better-quality photos and videos, chatting over Wi-Fi, knowing when a message is read, sharing reactions, and better capabilities for group chats. In other words, your SMS experience becomes richer, similar to what you find on WhatsApp.

WhatsApp already has this end-to-end encryption in individual chats (not in groups) , this will also be the case with Android messages. The encryption hides the content of a message and only the intended recipient has the key to unlock the hidden content. No one in between the transmission of the text can open its contents hence snooping is impossible.

This isn’t the first time Google is offering end-to-end encryption, it was present in Allo, a messaging app by the search giant that was later discontinued. With Google Allo, the user had to dig into the settings to activate the encryption feature, it wasn’t on by default, Android messages will follow the same route. WhatsApp, on the other hand, has encryption enabled by default for individual chats, we wish Google had followed this execution.