The worse news is that carriers aren’t fond of strong encryption and don’t have a great history of pushing back against government demands for information.
”RCS continues to be a carrier-owned service, so legal intercept and other laws that exist that allow carriers to have access to the data continues to be the case,” Sabharwal admits. And though Google isn’t shutting down Allo, it’s also not working to create a chat service that is as secure as iMessage, Signal, or even Telegram. “At this point, the answer is no. We will not have that option,” Sabharwal says.
I am fully on board with Google getting their messaging platform under control. Whenever I use Android, I have to use Messages, WhatsApp, and usually at least one other app on my home screen to talk to everyone in my life. On iOS, I use Messages exclusively and never have issues: iPhone users get iMessages and everyone else gets SMS.
The RCS standard is nice and all, and it does appear to be a natural successor to SMS, but it’s way too late in my book. The messaging services we have today (iMessage, WhatsApp, Messenger, Telegram, etc.) have all moved well beyond a simple SMS follow up. It’s like if you had a website from 1996 and decided to update it today with all the Web 2.0 trends of 10 years ago. Yes, it’s progress, but the world has moved on.