Google, the app Messages is updated and challenges WhatsApp: what changes

Google releases a new update for the app Messages and adds end-to-end encryption to increase the privacy of chats

For a few weeks now in Italy is available the new communication protocol RCS (Rich Communication Services) by Google that transforms the old SMS making them become messages in step with the times, with the ability to send multimedia content and have very interesting features.Thanks to the new communication standard strongly desired by the Mountain View company, even the Google Messages app is transformed. No longer simply an application to receive text messages from friends, but a platform for messaging at three hundred and sixty degrees that can challenge on equal terms both WhatsApp and Apple's iMessage.

As we have told in recent weeks, Google is investing heavily on the messaging sector, focusing mainly on two apps: Messages and Chat. The latter will soon become available to everyone and not only to those who are subscribed to GSuite, Google's platform for the business world. On the Messages app the investment made by Google is very big: not only support for the RCS protocol that allows you to send messages to your friends using your internet connection (as happens with WhatsApp), but since a few days has also arrived end-to-end encryption to protect conversations from prying eyes.

App Messages, end-to-end encryption arrives

When the arrival of RCS protocol on the Messages app was rumored (last months of 2019), many criticized Google's choice not to implement end-to-end encryption to protect the privacy of messages. Big G's response was not long in coming: with version 6.2.031 of Google Messages comes end-to-end encryption, both for messages sent over the Internet and for SMS and MMS. This is a big step forward for the application, which in this way can become to all intents and purposes a valid competitor to WhatsApp.

It's no secret that Google for several years now has been trying to put a spoke in the wheels of the world's most used messaging app, but so far the results have been rather disappointing. The evolution made by the Messages app thanks to the RCS protocol, however, is an important signal: we'll see in the coming months if users will abandon WhatsApp for the Google app.

How to activate the RCS protocol on the Messages app

The release of the RCS standard lasted a few weeks, according to the agreements between Google and the various phone operators. Now, however, it should be available for everyone. To check if it's active on your Android smartphone, you need to launch the Messages app, press on the three-dot icon in the top right corner and then on Settings. Press on "Chat Features" and if in the new page that will open next to the Status item it will say "Connected" then, it means that the RCS protocol is active.

How to download the update

For now, the new version of Google Messages is only available as an APK, the format in which Android apps are released, while on the official channels (Google Play Store) you'll have to wait a bit longer.