Google enables RCS by default now that encryption is available for group chats

RCS is enabled by default for new and existing users (unless you previously turned it off)

Google says Rich Communication Services (RCS) is now “enabled by default for new and existing users” as it rolls out full end-to-end encryption (E2EE).

The announcement came via a post on the ‘Messages by Google’ community forum. Alongside the two major announcements, Google also clarified that the change won’t apply to people who have already turned off RCS. It also warned some users may be asked to agree to a Terms of Service document provided by their carrier network.

Beyond that, RCS should now be enabled by default for everyone, and E2EE should further be the default for your one-on-one and group chats. That second part is a fairly major change, given until recently, E2EE group chats weren’t really an option.

Google launched E2EE RCS chats for one-to-one conversations back in 2021, but didn’t start testing encrypted group chats until January 2023. Further, we reported back in April 2023 that Google was starting to roll out E2EE for RCS group chats, but it looks like it’s now widely available.

Overall, this is good news for Android users as RCS brings significant modernization to text messaging. With the addition of E2EE now, using RCS should feel like using any other instant messaging platform like WhatsApp, Telegram, or Facebook Messenger. Plus, users don’t need to do anything to enable E2EE — it should just be automatic.

Google has even fully committed to calling it RCS after dubbing it ‘chat’ for years.

Despite the progress, communications between iPhone and Android will remain subpar until both sides agree to use a third-party platform like WhatsApp. Apple still hasn’t added support for (and likely won’t support) RCS, and iMessage on Android will likely never happen because Apple relies on it as a way to keep people using iPhones. So unless Google puts out an RCS app for iPhone, you’ll have to keep suffering with the ancient SMS standard or convince your iPhone friends to switch to a third-party platform.

Source: Google Via: 9to5Google