Google adds support for end-to-end encryption for group chats in Messages

Dec 5, 2022

Google has announced that it is rolling out end-to-encryption for group chats in its Messages app. The feature will be available for users who have enabled Rich Text Communication Services (RCS).

Google Messages app end to end encryption for group chats

Google Messages rolls out end-to-end encryption for group chats

RCS has been around since 2007, though it really only kicked off a few years ago when mobile carriers started supporting it. Unlike SMS (and MMS) which are sent through your mobile carrier's network and bill you for it, RCS also works over Wi-Fi, so it can be used for free providing you have access to a network. You will still need a phone number to communicate using RCS. The key advantages that RCS offers over the other protocols are that it supports modern features like typing indicator, read receipts, rich text support, emojis, share high resolution photos and videos, etc.

RCS also supports better security options, including end-to-end encryption for messages. The feature was introduced last year, but until now it only worked for personal chats.  Google is now expanding this feature, by adding support for E2E in group chats. End-to-end encryption is rolling out for group chats to some users in the open beta program. If you haven't participated in the beta test yet, you can sign up for it on the app's Google Play Store page.

The search giant says that E2E for group chats will be available for more users in the coming weeks. Google's Messages app, which is the default SMS app on Android devices, is also gaining another improvement. It will soon allow users to react to RCS messages with emojis.

Google Messages will add support for reactions in RCS

Green versus blue bubbles

Google also took a swipe at Apple regarding the green versus blue bubbles conundrum. The issue got its name because of the background color used in the Messages app for iOS. When you use your iPhone to text someone who also uses an iPhone, the chat bubble has a blue background. If the recipient has an Android phone, the app indicates this with a Green background color for the bubble.

Let's talk a bit about why iMessage has been a problem. While most users around the world rely on WhatsApp, Telegram and other instant messaging services, the majority of people in the U.S. and some parts of Europe prefer texting. This is mostly because SMS is usually free for their monthly plans, while mobile data costs more.

The default messaging app on an iPhone is the Messages app, which is used for both SMS and iMessage. The latter supports end-to-end encryption, rich text formatting, the ability to share large files, etc., iOS, iPadOS, macOS and watchOS. So, what's the problem with this? iMessage is limited to Apple's devices, which means your conversations, aka text messages from your iPhone, iPad or Mac, to someone with an Android phone relies on the SMS protocol, and MMS for images and videos. As a result of this, your messages are not end-to-end encrypted. This video by MKBHD explores the issue in more detail.

It's kind of silly when you think about it, but this sort of platform exclusivity poses a serious security risk for users. This is also one of the reasons why Signal decided to ditch SMS support from its app, because those messages are not secure.

About a month ago, a Twitter user shared some screenshots of emails exchanged between Apple executives regarding the possibility of bringing iMessage to Android devices in 2013. Well, we know how that turned out. Apple could adopt RCS, but it has stubbornly refused to do so, which in turn puts its users' security at risk. Google criticized Apple by saying iPhone users'texting is stuck in the 1990s. I'd say that criticism is right on the money.

Google adds support for end-to-end encryption for group chats in Messages
Article Name
Google adds support for end-to-end encryption for group chats in Messages
Google Messages is rolling out end-to-end encryption support for Group chats. The app is also getting an option to allow users to react to RCS messages with emojis.
Ghacks Technology News

Tutorials & Tips

Previous Post: «
Next Post: «


  1. bruh said on August 18, 2023 at 1:25 pm

    Uhh, this has already been possible – I am not sure how but remember my brother telling me about it. I’m not a whatsapp user so not sure of the specifics, but something about sending the image as a file and somehow bypassing the default compression settings that are applied to inbound photos.

    He has also used this to share movies to whatsapp groups, and files 1Gb+.

    Like I said, I never used whatsapp, but I know 100% this isn’t a “brand new feature”, my brother literally showed me him doing it, like… 5 months ago?

  2. 💥 said on August 18, 2023 at 3:55 pm

    Martin, what happened to those: 12 Comments ( Is there a specific justifiable reason why they were deleted?

    Hmm, it looks like the gHacks website database is faulty, and not populating threads with their relevant cosponsoring posts.

  3. 45 RPM said on August 19, 2023 at 6:29 pm

    The page on ghacks this is on represents the best of why it has become so worthless, fill of click-bait junk that it’s about to be deleted from my ‘daily reads’.

    It’s really like “Press Release as re-written by some d*ck for clicks…poorly.” And the subjects are laughable. Can’t wait for “How to search for files on Windows”.

    1. owl said on August 20, 2023 at 12:51 am

      > The page on ghacks this is on represents the best of why it has become so worthless, fill of click-bait junk…

      Sadly, I have to agree.

      Only Martin and Ashwin are worth subscribing to.
      Especially Emre Çitak and Shaun are the worst ones.

      If intended “Clickbait”, it would mark the end of Ghacks Technology News.
      Ghacks doesn’t need crappy clickbaits. Clearly separate articles from newer authors (perhaps AIs and external sales person or external advertising man) as just “Advertisements”!

      We, the subscribers of Ghacks, urge Martin to make a decision.

  4. chessandonions said on August 20, 2023 at 12:40 am

    because nevermore wants to “monetize” on every aspect of human life…

  5. Frank Rizzo said on August 20, 2023 at 11:52 pm

    “Threads” is like the Walmart of Social Media.

  6. Ashray said on August 21, 2023 at 4:06 pm

    How hard can it be to clone a twitter version of that as well? They’re slow.

  7. Paul(us) said on August 21, 2023 at 5:16 pm

    Yes, why not mention how large the HD files can be?
    Why, not mention what version of WhatsApp is needed?
    These omissions make the article feel so bare. If not complete.

    1. Paul(us) said on August 21, 2023 at 5:18 pm

      Sorry posted on the wrong page.

  8. Marc said on August 21, 2023 at 6:00 pm

    such a long article for such a simple matter. Worthless article ! waste of time

  9. plusminus_ said on August 21, 2023 at 7:54 pm

    I already do this by attaching them via the ‘Document’ option.

  10. John G. said on August 21, 2023 at 11:43 pm

    I don’t know what’s going on here at Ghacks but it’s obvious that something is broken, comments are being mixed whatever the article, I am unable to find some of my later posts neither. :S

  11. Tom Hawack said on August 23, 2023 at 2:28 pm

    Quoting the article,
    “As users gain popularity, the value of their tokens may increase, allowing investors to reap rewards.”

    Besides, beyond the thrill and privacy risks or not, the point is to know how you gain popularity, be it on social sites as everywhere in life. Is it by being authentic, by remaining faithful to ourselves or is it to have this particular skill which is to understand what a majority likes, just like politicians, those who’d deny to the maximum extent compatible with their ideological partnership, in order to grab as many of the voters they can?

    I see the very concept of this as unhealthy, propagating what is already an increasing flaw : the quest for fame. I won’t be the only one to count himself out, definitely.

    1. Tom Hawack said on August 23, 2023 at 2:34 pm

      @John G. is right : my comment was posted on [] and it appears there but as well here at []

      This has been lasting for several days. Fix it or at least provide some explanations if you don’t mind.

  12. Tom said on August 24, 2023 at 11:53 am

    > Google Chrome is following in Safari’s footsteps by introducing a new feature that allows users to move the Chrome address bar to the bottom of the screen, enhancing user accessibility and interaction.

    Firefox did this long before Safari.

  13. Mavoy said on September 16, 2023 at 2:17 pm

    Basically they’ll do anything except fair royalties.

Leave a Reply

Check the box to consent to your data being stored in line with the guidelines set out in our privacy policy

We love comments and welcome thoughtful and civilized discussion. Rudeness and personal attacks will not be tolerated. Please stay on-topic.
Please note that your comment may not appear immediately after you post it.