SMS and MMS have been around for a while now, but it’s safe to say that they haven’t necessarily been updated to keep up with the times, and have since been replaced by the likes of messaging apps like WhatsApp, Telegram, Facebook Messenger, and so on. However, with RCS messages, that is set to change.
However, there is still at least one feature that other apps have that RCS doesn’t, and that is end-to-end encryption. The good news is that according to an APK teardown by 9to5Google, they have discovered evidence that Google could be looking to build end-to-end encryption into RCS messages in the future for its Google Messages app.
Based on the teardown, they have discovered as many as 12 strings that make reference to encryption, hinting that this is a feature that could be coming soon. For those who are unfamiliar, end-to-end encryption is a security feature designed so that messages are only decrypted once they reach their intended device.
This means that even if a message gets intercepted mid-transmission, the attacker will not be able to see the contents of the message as they do not have the keys to decrypt it. This is a feature we’ve seen used by apps like WhatsApp and Apple’s iMessage, so it’s good to know that RCS messages could soon get a similar security feature.
However, it also appears that Google could be adding other features that will make RCS more compelling, and that is by allowing other apps on your phone to access these encrypted messages. That being said, as 9to5Google notes, this is a “dogfood” version of the app meaning that it is being tested internally. We have no idea when these changes will be rolled out or if the final version could be different from what we’re seeing now.