A lot of messenger services use end-to-end encryption these days to help increase the security and privacy of messages being sent and received. Apple’s iMessage already supports it, and now it looks like Android Messages will be getting it as well and the feature is expected to begin rolling out this week.
End-to-end encryption for Messages actually launched last November in beta where those who took part in the beta could try the feature out for themselves, but now Google has decided to make it available to all users. However, there are some caveats to this feature that you might want to take note of before you start firing off messages.
For starters, end-to-end encryption is only available for 1-on-1 messages, so if you’re in a group chat, those messages aren’t encrypted end-to-end yet. Secondly, it will require that both you and the person you’re chatting with have the RCS chat features enabled, so if the other person doesn’t have it enabled, then it won’t work. Your messages will still go through, but they won’t be end-to-end encrypted.
It is a feature we reckon is a long time coming since this has become more or less the standard we expect from communications services, but better late than never.