Assuming they’ve enabled RCS messaging.
Google began rolling out Rich Communication Services, the next generation of text messaging, in 2019. RCS messaging includes capabilities such as read receipts, seamless messaging over wi-fi, named chats, and the ability to add and delete individuals from group discussions. Google’s RCS implementation is about to get another major feature update: end-to-end encryption.
Testers have been enjoying the functionality for months, but Google is only just starting to roll it out to the general public. Well, in a sense — you have to be using the company’s Messages app to be part of this feature rollout.
If you aren’t using Messages but would like to, you can snag it from the Google Play Store. After doing so, unlocking end-to-end encryption will require two additional steps. First, visit the app’s Settings menu (located by tapping the three-dot icon at the top right of the interface), tap “Chat features,” and then switch on the “Enable chat features” toggle.
Step two is much easier: all you have to do is wait. Because Google’s feature rollouts can take anywhere from minutes to days, there’s no knowing when your RCS communications will be entirely encrypted. When that day comes, you’ll know because Google will display a helpful padlock icon over encrypted chats.
Furthermore, even if the update reaches your smartphone, you must confirm that the individuals you’re speaking with are also utilising RCS texting via the Messages app. End-to-end encryption will not function if they are not. Finally, even if all participants have access to the functionality, group chats will not profit from it at all.
Masthead credit: Dennizn