Google opens end-to-end encryption on group chats in beta

Google announced at the end of last week the opening of a beta program for end-to-end encryption in group chats.

Android smartphone users wishing to participate in the test will find instructions for registering here.

Google Messages, the company’s messaging app, already supports end-to-end encryption for individual messages. For Neena Budhiraja, product manager of Google’s Messages group, users shouldn’t have to “worry about encryption”, it should go without saying.

Google tackles Apple

When announcing this new beta program, Google again criticized its main competitor in the world of mobile operating systems, Apple, which supports SMS instead of RCS. The RCS protocol, for “Rich Communication Services”, is the successor to SMS and MMS on Android, but it is unlikely that Apple will adopt it in iOS. In her blog post, Neena Budhiraja clarifies that SMS does not provide end-to-end encryption like RCS does.

This messaging protocol also helps improve SMS sending capabilities, including displaying real-time keystroke indicators and delivery receipts.

Earlier this year, Google launched a “Get the Message” campaign to pressure Apple to adopt RCS. “Let’s hope Apple can #GetTheMessage [avoir le message, NDLR] so we don’t have to keep waiting for this whole ‘green bubble versus blue bubble’ thing to be removed,” the product manager writes.

Apple gives it back

Apple, however, has made it clear that it is not interested in switching to RCS, despite having already added many enrichment features to its own application, iMessage.

At an event in September, Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO, reacted to these attacks. According to him, if you are not satisfied with the experience of sending SMS between Apple and Android devices, you should buy an iPhone.

“I don’t see our users asking us to put a lot of energy into this area at this stage,” adds Tim Cook about the RCS protocol. “I would love to convert you to the iPhone. »


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