Google has announced that users of Google Messages, Android’s default SMS and RCS app, will soon have access to end-to-end encryption.
The feature has been in beta for months and is now available to all users.
Only if both users are using Google Messages does encryption work. Both users must be in a 1:1 chat (no group conversations), and they must both have RCS enabled.
End-to-end encryption was first introduced in the Messages app in November for a select few users as part of a Beta phase, and Google is now pushing it out to everyone who uses rich text communication.
The Google Messages web app works perfectly because it still sends messages over a local (encrypted) connection to your phone.
Because the function for Rich Communication Services (RCS) messages is presently limited to direct conversations only, group chats remain unencrypted.
Only if both parties in the conversation are using Google’s default Android Messages app and have RCS chat features enabled will the encryption work.