Google Messages is one of the most popular apps from Google, and many users use it every day without even realizing that they are using it. The name is pretty generic, and many devices come with this preinstalled app as their default SMS and RCS client. Most users should be happy with the features the app provides, and they hardly have a real reason to look for alternatives. But if one of the possible upcoming changes happens, they may have to look for these alternatives, as newlines found in the application suggest that Google Messages will stop working on non-certified Android phones already in April 2021.

Examining the APK often reveals features that may appear in a future app update, but it’s just as likely that any of the features mentioned here may not appear on the next update or in the future. These functions are currently not implemented in a live assembly; they can be retrieved by developers at any time and will not be included in a future assembly.

IN Google Messages 7.2.203 new lines were found:

<string name="ip_compliance_warning_message">On March 31, Messages will stop working on uncertified devices, including this one.</string>

As the message clearly states, effective March 31, 2021, the Google Messages app will stop working on non-certified Android devices… Uncertified Android devices are running the Android operating system but have not passed or have not completed the official Google certification process for Google mobile services. These devices do not come with Google apps preinstalled, but vendors for these devices usually have recommendations on how users can download the standard set of Google apps and services. In fact, Google has already put an end to this practice of device manufacturers, but Google Messages as an application remained immune to this decision’s consequences. First, Google posts, if not preinstalled, could easily be downloaded unofficially. Secondly, the app did not require a Google login to download and operate the app itself, so it would still work on all Android devices (including new smartphones from Huawei).

Now this will change. If you have an uncertified Android device, the app will not work. It is assumed that this is an extension of the end-to-end encryption capabilities of RCS: since Google cannot guarantee that an uncertified device will not be hacked, and subsequent correspondence of users of these devices will not become public, the application cannot be used, as this could compromise the company that created this software. And yet, given how small this user base is in the large world of Android devices that officially use Google Messages, this ban could be just a drop in the ocean for Google.


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