Google says all group RCS chats are now fully end-to-end encrypted

Just make sure no one in your group has opted out before sharing any big secrets.

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After months of testing, Google has announced that all group chats that have RCS enabled in its Android and Wear OS Messages app now have end-to-end encryption (E2EE) enabled by default. That should help keep prying eyes away from your chats as only the group participants will be able to read your messages, as long as they're not sharing screenshots or showing their phone to someone next to them (there's not much you can do about that, unfortunately).

Google notes that RCS will now be enabled by default for new and existing users, as long as they haven't previously switched off RCS in their settings. So, maybe make sure that no one in your group has opted out of RCS before you start sharing your most private information.

E2EE has been available in one-on-one chats for some time and enabling it for group conversations is a welcome move. However, Android and iOS don't exactly play nicely together on this front. Google has been trying in vain to get Apple to support RCS, but the latter is quite content with using its own iMessage service for encrypted messaging. So, you'll only be able to embrace E2EE chats if every member of your group is on either Android or iOS, unless you opt to use a third-party app like Signal.