Google Messages turning on RCS by default, group E2E encryption … – 9to5Google

After testing group end-to-end encryption for the past few months, Google Messages has now fully rolled it out and is enabling RCS by default.
Google announced today that RCS in its Messages app is now “enabled by default for new and existing users,” though some “may be asked to agree to Terms of Service provided by their carrier network.” This includes those that previously ignored the RCS prompt.
It will stay disabled if you previously (and explicitly) turned RCS off, while users will have the ability to disable it anytime from the Messages settings > RCS chats menu.
Google is making this big move to “ensure more people benefit from this added security.” E2E encryption for 1:1 conversations fully launched in June of 2021, while it started testing group E2EE this January. Google notes that, when it is enabled, there are lock signs throughout the conversation. All participants must have RCS enabled, but there’s otherwise nothing you have to do, and it cannot be disabled.
It comes as Google last month added prominent badges to label RCS conversations on the Messages homescreen, with SMS/MMS chats going unmarked. Before that, it started showing read receipts in the conversation list, and explicitly calling it “RCS” over “chat.”
Back at I/O 2023 in May, Google said there are 800 million monthly active users with RCS and that it expects the figure to reach 1 billion by the end of 2023. This move today should aid in that.
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