Google takes a shot at Apple for not supporting RCS while sending out encryption for group messages
When two Google Messages users are chatting one-on-one, the messages sent back and forth are encrypted end-to-end. So if the CEO of Coca-Cola wants to exchange secret formulas with the CEO of Kentucky Fried Chicken, both can relax knowing that outside of each other no one will know the secret formulas they are exchanging (remember, this is an hypothetical example).
But let's say that the CEO of Krispy Kreme wants to join the chat to pass along his company's secret doughnut recipe to the other two executives in return for their secrets. That would be problematic. Why? Because up until now, Google Messages group chats were not protected by encryption although that is now changing.
Encryption for group chats starts rolling out for Google Messages beta testers
Earlier this year Google said that it was working on adding encryption for group chats over its Messages app. According to Droid-Life, this feature has started rolling out now to some Google Messages beta testers. If you want to join the Google Messages beta, the first thing you need to do is install the Google Messages app on your Android phone.
Those who signed up for the Google Messages beta program get first crack at group encryption
Once you have the Google Messages app installed, click on this link to join the beta program. You can choose to return to the public version at any time. This writer has been a beta tester for Google Messages for years and frankly, if you want the latest features ahead of the pack, you might want to join. You should also join the beta program for Carrier Services which you can do by clicking this link.
Now here's the thing Android users. If you want to take advantage of the features available using Rich Communication Services (RCS) you will need to not only install Google Messages from the Play Store but also you will have to be speaking with others using the same Messaging app. RCS to RCS messaging allows you to send longer messages, longer and enhanced videos and pictures, get a read receipt, see a typing indicator, chat using blue text bubbles, and enjoy the security of encryption.
But you need to remember the following. Should one member of a group chat use an iPhone or even use one of those carrier-supported messaging apps like Verizon Messages (found in the Play Store), all of those lovely features go away. Sound familiar? The only difference between this and Apple's iMessage is that Google Messages users don't make fun of or intimidate iPhone users who join their group messages.
Google wishes SMS Texting Happy 30th Birthday
Besides group chat encryption, beta testers will also be the first to receive the feature that will allow them to react to a message using any emoji available. Currently, only seven emoji can be used as a reaction (thumbs up, smiley face with heart-shaped eyes, laughing with tears, surprised look, sad face with a tear, frowning face, and thumbs down).
RCS, Google says, is the industry standard and is used by these companies
Speaking about RCS, Google today also published a blog post in which it made fun of Apple's lack of support for RCS. In the post, Google said that Apple's texting platform is stuck in the 1990's. Neena Budhiraja, Group Product Manager for Messages by Google, wrote, "Most of the mobile world is using RCS, but there is one company that’s dragging its heels. But after 30 years of SMS texting, it’s truly time."
Google also pointed out that tomorrow will be the 30th birthday of the first text message. The Alphabet unit and search giant said, "Hopefully Apple can #GetTheMessage so we don’t have to keep waiting to remove the whole 'green-versus-blue bubble' thing. Happy birthday, SMS — you were a great start, and you had a good run, but everyone is ready for an upgrade."