Google’s Messages app is now getting support for encrypted group chats.
The much-anticipated feature appears to be rolling out as part of a Messages update and has been spotted by several people online as well as publications like Android Police. Those seeing the feature are running Messages version ‘20230329_00_RC01.phone_dynamic’ — you can check the encryption status of a group chat by opening the chat, tapping the three-dot icon in the top-right corner, tapping ‘Group details’ and looking for the ‘End-to-end encryption’ section.
End-to-end encryption (E2EE) rollout for group chats is a major milestone for Google Messages and the Rich Communication Services (RCS) platform. E2EE is an important privacy and security feature offered by many of the most popular messaging services, and it prevents messages from being decoded by a third party. RCS lacked E2EE when it launched, but Google added it for one-to-one messages in 2021. That, unfortunately, left group chats vulnerable.
Android Police notes the rollout seems to be fairly widespread, although Google hasn’t made an official announcement yet. Ultimately, it’s great to see E2EE in RCS becoming more widely available. Many people stick with the default options on their phones — if the default messaging option offers better security, that’s a win for everyone.
Source: Android Police