Google has revealed it’s making its Messages by Google app more secure by improving RCS, or Rich Communication Services, a system that replaces SMS with advanced capabilities like Apple’s iMessage. The firm will default to RCS for new and current Messages app customers. Group chat end-to-end encryption is now available to all RCS users.
The latter entered open beta this year after tests but was not completely introduced until recently. Google says this upgrade will keep all Messages discussions, 1:1 or group, private.
Google has been lobbying to force Apple to embrace RCS in iMessage since rolling it out to U.S. Android customers in 2019. It developed a website last year to explain how RCS benefits users, saying, “It’s not about the bubble color. Blurry videos, broken group conversations, missing read receipts and typing indicators, no Wi-Fi texting, and more.”
Google then accused Apple of refusing to implement contemporary texting standards, hurting its customers, to enlist their support. Apple isn’t only failing to accept new tech, as Google says. It knows iMessage is a major ecosystem lock-in source. The green bubbles bother Apple users, especially kids. As stated in court filings, the firm does not want to make an Android version of iMessage because it believes it will hurt it more than assist it.
At a presentation, Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked if Apple will implement RCS to help the user’s mother see his movies. He said, “Buy your mom an iPhone.”
Despite this, Google continues RCS development.
Google said RCS will now be enabled by default for all users unless they turned it off in Settings. A support article says users can still opt out by turning RCS off in Settings after today’s rollout.
RCS allows users to share high-res photos and videos, see typing indicators, get read receipts, send messages over mobile data and Wi-Fi, rename, edit, and remove themselves from group chats, and use end-to-end encryption, which iMessage users have had for years.