Google says its rollout of Rich Communication Services (RCS) standard is now completely globally for its Messages app on Android. RCS is the next generation of messaging standards and protocols, which is meant to replace the older SMS and MMS. Google’s rollout for RCS standard on its Messages app has been in the works for a while now.
RCS as the name suggests is supposed to ensure that users can enjoy rich communication over their standard messaging app. This would include ability to share high quality videos and photos, ensure chats over Wi-Fi or data, get read receipts for messages, group chats, etc. In simple terms, RCS would ensure that the Messages app on your phone has a lot more features, compared to what the simple SMS/MMS protocols would allow. Google says it has works with several OEMs and carrier networks in certain countries to provide RCS-based chat features.
Google also announced in its blogpost that it will start rolling out end-to-end encryption for Messages, but it will be coming to the beta version of the app first. The end-to-end encryption will roll out to “one-on-one RCS conversations between people using Messages,” at first, according to the blogpost.
End-to-end encryption on Messages is similar to what WhatsApp, Signal, and other apps offer. It basically means that no one can access your messages, be it Google or third-party or the carrier. Google says the feature will roll out to beta testers “beginning this month and continue into next year.”
However, not all conversations will be eligible for end-to-end encryption. It will only work when “both you and the person you are messaging have Messages installed and chat features on,” notes the blog post. Users can sign up for the beta testing for Messages via the Google Play Store.
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