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Google I/O 2022 Takes A Jab At Apple Via 500 Million Active RCS Users

500 million rcs users
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As many as 500 million of the monthly active users of Google Messages are using RCS for their conversations. That’s based on an announcement made during Google I/O 2022.

Now, that effectively equates to around half of Google Messages users, with consideration for reported users as of late 2020. But, more importantly, that means more users than ever are getting both the convenience features of the messaging protocol and the security features.

What is RCS and why does it matter that more users are accessing it in Google Messages?

One of the most important implications of the news in question comes down to encryption. In 2021, Google rolled out end-to-end encryption for Google Messages in RCS. That means that up to half of Android users using Google Messages are reaping the benefits of that feature.

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Moreover, that means that more users than ever are able to send larger images and video files. With geolocation sharing, read and delivery receipts, typing indicators, and more. Bringing the Android user-base more in line with what users on Android’s biggest competitor, iOS, experience.

The company also took the opportunity to call out Apple, as one of the sole holdouts to adopting next-generation messaging via RCS. Although it didn’t call the company out by name.

While Google and Android partners across the span of OEMs have made use of RCS, Apple has not enabled its messaging apps to support the standard. That means that Apple has effectively forced interactions between Android and its iOS to take place over older, less secure fallback technologies. Namely, SMS and MMS.

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During its I/O 2022 keynote, Google noted its hope that “every mobile operating system gets the message and upgrades to RCS.” Pointing specifically to security and privacy features found in RCS. And that messages between platforms and devices aren’t as private and secure as they could be.