While it wasn’t mentioned on stage during Google I/O 2022 today, the company did announce a big new feature coming to Google Messages. Later this year, Google Messages will add end-to-end encryption for RCS group chats.

Google Messages first added support for end-to-end encryption on RCS messages in late 2020, as the new messaging standard became available to all Android users around the globe. At that point, the company also confirmed that group chats would eventually add encryption, as it was limited only to 1:1 chats at first.

In an email sent to members of the press including ourselves and Android Police, who first brought the update to our attention, Google confirmed the end-to-end encryption will be rolling out “later this year” for RCS group chats in Google Messages. Importantly, though, this feature will not simply be rolling out to everyone, but will rather launch in open beta first.

Later this year, Messages will bring end-to-end encryption to group conversations to open beta. Messages already offers encryption for one-to-one conversations. 

Effectively, we’re still a long way off from Google Messages offering the full encryption that the company is touting so heavily — and leaning on Apple to get on board with — but progress is certainly being made.

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