Google Messages just got a major security upgrade

End-to-end encryption is now enabled by default on your Google Messages conversations between Android devices. Here's what that means for you.
Written by Sabrina Ortiz, Editor
Google Pixel Fold camera
June Wan/ZDNET

Android and iPhone users have had the blue bubble versus green bubble, iMessage versus RCS feud for years. Now, one of the biggest iMessage advantages is coming to Google Messages. 

On Tuesday, Google announced that all RCS conversations on Google Messages will be end-to-end encrypted by default, including group messages. 

Also: How to enable read receipts for texts on Android 

Google had initially introduced end-to-end encryption for one-on-one conversations in 2020 and since then had only tested this type of encryption for group messages. 

Now, all Google Messages will have an extra layer of privacy because end-to-end encryption prevents third parties from accessing your messages, ensuring that the only person who views your message is the intended recipient(s). 

RCS will now be activated by default for all users, both new and existing. This is a significant development because it ensures everyone can automatically benefit from the additional security unless they have previously disabled RCS messages. Either way, users can turn RCS on or off in their settings anytime. 

Also: How to transfer data from Android to an iPhone quickly and easily

iMessage has had end-to-end encryption since 2011, which gave it a significant competitive advantage for over a decade. Google's encryption adoption bridges that gap. 

However, other RCS to iMessage issues will persist, such as the loathed green bubbles and the reduced quality of pictures when sending from RCS to iMessage. 

Google has been campaigning for Apple to adopt RCS, which would virtually solve all issues. But Apple hasn't budged, likely because the blue messages are a significant way to keep people within the Apple ecosystem. 

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