Friday, 26 February, 2021


Google to launch an Android chat service akin to Apple's iMessage

Google has a new plan to fix texting on Android Google has a new plan to fix texting
Kristine Garrett | 23 April, 2018, 11:09

It supports read receipts, full-resolution photos and video, and group texts, among other features.

The service, dubbed Chat, is not a Google messaging app but will run on Android phones through partnerships with dozens of mobile carriers around the world.

Google recently unveiled its new messaging service "Chat", and has faced some heat over the lack of end-to-end encryption in the service.

Google is rolling out a new chat service to replace standard texting, a move that analysts say will offer Android users advanced features already found in popular chat services such as Apple's iMessage and Facebook's WhatsApp.

Chat will operate like a traditional SMS message, but will have many elements seen in other messaging apps like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp.

Unlike WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger and iMessage, which all offer end to end encryption, for some reason Google has chose to skip this important feature on Chat.

And while Chat may be its latest offering, it is still missing one major feature, which is likely to put many users off from ever using the service, especially those that are privacy conscious.

Critics are calling out Google for not having end-to-end encryption in the default Android app in 2018.

The new system has been in development phase for several years, but is now starting to appear on Android phones, like Nokia and Samsung. (Curse the United States' dependence on SMS.) While I also technically have Allo installed on most of my phones, I can't remember the last time I used it or which device it's now active on. Google will also enable Google assistant through Chat.

Nearly every major carrier and Android phone maker has already signed on. However, unlike iMessage Chat is not encrypted. It means Google will now be actively encouraging Android phone users to give up their privacy by switching to a service where their communications are effectively there for all to see.

Westby also called the decision to launch a messaging service without end-to-end encryption "baffling", and said the move shows "utter contempt for the privacy of Android users" as it allows easy access for governments and criminals to snoop on the communications of Android users. "They would love to have a direct competitor to Messenger or WhatsApp, but they weren't able to figure out that challenge of getting enough users for it to really take off", he said.

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