Google Keeps Beating the RCS Dead Horse

Jesse Hollington, writing for Digital Trends:

Like iMessage, RCS offers enhanced messaging features like read receipts and typing indicators that overcome the somewhat archaic limitations of SMS/MMS messaging — standards developed over 20 years ago that haven’t been meaningfully updated. However, where RCS differs from iMessage is that it’s an open standard, not something cooked up by a single company.

Open standard good; cooked up by a single company bad. Got it.

This included adding features like end-to-end encryption, which is something the carriers would have been reluctant to adopt. It also ensures universal support across all Android handsets since it will be a core part of the Google Chat experience, rather than relying on carrier implementations that might favor their own messaging apps.

End-to-encryption is not part of the RCS standard. It’s something Google added to its proprietary Messages app. So: open standard bad; cooked up by a single company good. Got it.

Also, RCS messages are only end-to-end encrypted sometimes, if both the sender and recipient are using Google’s Messenger app — and never for group chats, even with Google’s Messenger app. So for one-on-one chats, look for the lock icon or else the conversation is not encrypted. And for group chats, conversations are never encrypted. And Google wants you to believe Apple is refusing to support RCS out of blue/green bubble spite.

Tuesday, 9 August 2022