Google Messages’ new end-to-end encryption (E2EE) feature in group chats has started rolling out to users. Google announced at the CES/Las Vegas push that it has completed the rollout of the “group chat end-to-end encryption for users in Open Beta.”
In fairness to Google, its E2EE rollout in group chats in Messages has been more transparent when compared to its competitors. At least we have seen more user-participation in the entire process since the company first gave hint of the E2EE feature.
Google has spent much of the last few years building and improving its Messages app. Truth is, there remains a lot to be done, but much have changed in the last couple of weeks though. The feature was first announced by Google sometimes in May 2022.
This is good news if Google really wants to ever compete with Apple’s iMessage and other notable chat apps like WhatsApp, Telegram, and Signal in terms of offering chat services.
Messages’ new E2E works the same way the RCS does in terms of one-on-one chats. It appears automatically in supported threads once it becomes active on your device. It appears as a lock icon on the send icon alerting you to the change.
So, be on the lookout for the E2E feature on Messages when in active conversation with someone another user or multiparticipant. If you do not have it yet, never worry as there is a possibility that a full roll out could be on the card pretty soon.
In December, Google also confirmed that expanded emoji reacts are coming to Messages. Emoji reacts allows you to select any emoji for text reactions, as was revealed by some tech blogs a couple of months ago.
Messages has evolved, with more than 1 billion downloads on the Play Store, the app keeps getting more upgrades. In 2020, Google upgraded Messages with a number of features including the ability to tap and hold a message to reply with an emoji reaction. This feature is only new to Messages, but not to Facebook Messenger where users have long had the chance to reply with emoji.
Google recently upgraded Smart Reply to include suggested stickers to make it easier to let your loved ones know just how much you care for them. First, you must turn on Smart Reply suggestions that will allow stickers to automatically show up as you text. This eliminates the need to search for one to share at that crucial moment.