Google’s ‘Chat’ is not end-to-end encrypted like Apple’s iMessage

“Google has been quietly corralling every major cellphone carrier on the planet into adopting technology to replace SMS,” Dieter Bohn writes for The Verge. “It’s going to be called “Chat,” and it’s based on a standard called the ‘Universal Profile for Rich Communication Services.’ SMS is the default that everybody has to fall back to, and so Google’s goal is to make that default texting experience on an Android phone as good as other modern messaging apps.”

“Chat is not a new texting app. Instead, think of it more like a new set of features inside the app already installed on most Android phones. ‘Chat’ is the consumer-friendly name for Rich Communication Services (RCS), the new standard that’s meant to supplant SMS, and it will automatically be turned on inside Android Messages, the OS’s default app for texting,” Bohn writes. “Chat is a carrier-based service, not a Google service. It’s just ‘Chat,’ not ‘Google Chat.’ In a sign of its strategic importance to Google, the company has spearheaded development on the new standard, so that every carrier’s Chat services will be interoperable. But, like SMS, Chat won’t be end-to-end encrypted, and it will follow the same legal intercept standards. In other words: it won’t be as secure as iMessage or Signal.”

“I have a hunch that the pressure is on to get Apple to support Chat, not just from Google but from carriers and other businesses,” Bohn writes. “Sources familiar with RCS say Google, along with multiple mobile operators, is in discussion with Apple about supporting RCS. Apple declined to comment.

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The lack of end-to-end encryption is either a joke or a sign of just how tone deaf Google has become.

Apple should support “Chat” right after they make Windows the default operating system on Macintosh. If fact, long before that, Apple simply release end-to-end encrypted Messages for Android and sew up the instant messaging market for the next decade or more.

Why Apple’s holding back Messages for Android: Hardware sales – June 15, 2016
Apple’s new iMessage is great, but why the hell isn’t it on Android, yet? – June 14, 2016
Apple’s iMessage and Siri will allow iOS 10 users to send money via Square Cash – June 13, 2016
Apple to deliver iMessage to Android at WWDC – June 9, 2016


  1. Apple didn’t follow through Steve Job’s promise to open up iMessage as a public standard.
    They blew it.
    They could have owned the world. Similar story for AppleTV. It never evolved from a “hobby” to a one stop video shopping experience. They = Tim Cook & Jony Ive.

  2. Surprise? No surprise here, especially with Google.

    “The lack of end-to-end encryption is” … Google’s desire to collect information from your “Chat.”

    1. I suppose it would be true if Google controlled the servers that ‘Chat’ messages use to be transferred. ‘Chat’ servers are owned and maintained by Carriers so it would be as easy/difficult for other companies to try to access the messages by ‘attacking’ Carrier HW.

  3. Are there not end to end encrypted messaging apps for Android?

    Am I the only one here that doesn’t work for the State Department, CIA, Secret Service, or NSA?
    I have no cause to care, but available apps if I do.

    Nothing to see here…

    1. This is about defaults. Most Android users are going to end up using a default messaging system that isn’t encrypted and is controlled by carriers. That’s not good no matter how you spin it. There are ways to open up my iPhone and get out of Apple’s walled garden. You wouldn’t argue that makes Apple’s walled garden okay because it’s possible to get around it would you? Then why would you make the case that because alternatives exist it’s okay for Google to make the default messaging system unencrypted?

        1. Your default SMS is going to change at the carrier level and will not be encrypted.

          That’s a lame excuse even for you, that there are not built in ways so it is different? Come on. It’s as easy to jailbreak an iPhone as it is to install and set up an encrypted messaging app. If an alternative excuses Google’s actions then Apple is excused also.

          1. At least attempt to understand before being a pretentious twit… even for you…

            By “built in ways” I was referring to sideloading as the answer to your “open up your iPhone” which is jaibreaking it. Sideloading is a built in, acceptable, jailbreak, which Android has and Apple keeps trying to take away. I won’t play that game with them.

            Now… I accept my defaults, though I have the option to change Apps. Is it that incomprehensible to you? I repeat Android allows me to use other stores, or no stores at all by allowing sideloading out of the box.

            1. I understood you perfectly. You’re excusing Google because there is an alternative to the default unencrypted messaging system. You won’t excuse Apple because there is an alternative to the walled garden. That is hypocrisy. You’re trying to justify your hypocrisy because there’s a difference in how the alternatives are set up. But it’s not even a big difference. Jailbreaking an iPhone is simple. There is no game to play. Sideloading on Android isn’t much different. You’re taking the same risks of damaging your device and getting malware.

              These are the facts. The default messaging system on Android is going to be bad for users. An alternative exists. How you get that alternative does not matter. That it exists is all that matters. Because the alternative exists you excuse Google.

              The default walled garden on iOS devices isn’t even bad for users it just isn’t what you want. An alternative exists. Because the alternative exists you will not excuse Apple.

              That is hypocrisy.

            2. I’m exusing Google because they do not tell me what I am allowed to run. Simple as that.

              Apple does not allow jailbreaking, in fact, they are on record saying it violates the DMCA and is illegal. Fortunately, the interpreters of the law say otherwise.

              Thanks for playing.

            3. You might not be aware that Google recently started blocking uncertified Android devices. If an OEM chooses to skip Google’s certification process then that device can no longer access Google’s core apps and it sounds like the user then can’t even sign into their Google account. What was that about Google not telling you what you’re allowed to run? You are no longer allowed to run core apps if your device isn’t properly certified.

              Apple’s position on jailbreaking isn’t relevant. They can say what they like about it. It isn’t illegal. All it does is void your warranty. You’re allowed to do it. Just as you’re allowed to sideload on Android.

              As for the “Thanks for playing” and the name calling, are you 12? Grow up when you’re having a discussion.

              I’m done. Your hypocrisy has been clearly demonstrated.

            4. “That’s a lame excuse even for you”

              Is okay, but calling you on it isn’t? Who’s the hypocrite?

              “Void your warranty” -Apple Policy
              “Allowed to do it” – By law, with impediments from Apple as opposed to out of the box.

              Who’s the hypocrite again?

  4. It’s basically a replacement for SMS so no cellular data nor Wifi connection is required. ‘Chat’ is also run on servers controlled and maintained by Carriers, not Google. It is just as secure/unsecure as SMS and just as easy to use. Think of it as MMS that no longer requires a cellular data or Wifi connection. This is great for moving up those users that shun MMS on their smartphones due to having to use part of their Data allocation to send/receive messages.

    I’m not holding my breath but I don’t see anything preventing Carriers or App developers from encrypting/decrypting ‘Chat’ packets in the future since this neo-SMS is not limited to character data. If that comes to pass, iMessage will definitely have an ‘army’ to contend with.

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