Special Google Messages icon for iOS-Android RCS chats has been removed

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With iOS 18 developer beta 2 installed, iPhone users subscribed to AT&T, T-Mobile, or Verizon can start messaging with their Android packing pals, relatives, and co-workers using RCS. This brings features such as read receipts, typing indicators, high-quality images, and videos to chats between iOS and Android users. Some of these features haven’t been working yet, typical for a beta release.
Apple iPhone-Android RCS messages do not support end-to-end encryption at the moment which had been indicated on Google Messages by a lock icon with a slash through the icon. Google Messages has its own end-to-encryption for one-to-one and group chats that Apple is not supporting. The icon itself was seen underneath each message sent and received over Google Messages when an Android user was chatting to an iPhone user with RCS support. If you’re wondering why I’m writing this in the past tense, it’s because, as of today, the ‘no end-to-end encryption’ icon has disappeared from Google Messages. 
One report says that the removal of the ‘no end-to-end encryption’ icon is due to a server-side update related to beta releases of Google Messages. There really is no reason for Google to continue to show the ‘no end-to-end encryption’ icon since there is nothing an iPhone user can do to remove that slash that covers the lock icon. 
As of now, the version of RCS supported by iOS does not include end-to-end encryption. It does encrypt messages in transit but your carrier will be able to read all of your messages. What will happen to end-to-end encryption when the stable version of iOS 18 is released is unknown but we can tell you that the text bubbles will remain green when an iPhone user is chatting with an Android user over RCS. Whether that means green bubble bullying by iPhone users will continue only time will tell.

Out of all of the improvements that iPhone and Android users will experience with the features available to them with the iOS support of RCS, perhaps the best is the way images and videos sent and received will appear. Previously, when iPhone and Android users had to message each other using SMS and MMS, shared pictures were often blurry and out of focus. Videos were hard to view, too. But that can come to an end right now if you feel like gambling on installing the iOS 18 developer beta.

With the drop in battery life and the typical iOS beta bugs, you might be better served by waiting for the stable version to be released later this year. By then, we might see iOS add Google Messages’ end-to-end encryption with its RCS support.


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