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This article was published on June 16, 2021

Android is now encrypting your RCS texts

Privacy and accessibility

Android is now encrypting your RCS texts Image by: Denny Muller/Unsplash

Google is rolling out a bunch of new updates for Android users related to privacy and usability. Here’s what you’ll be getting:

End-to-end encryption for RCS

RCS messages are getting end-to-end encryption support on Google’s Messages app. Apps like WhatsApp and Signal use this tech to keep your conversations private, so no one can see them.

Currently, this feature is available to those who have access to RCS messaging and only for one-to-one chats. Plus, you’ll need to enable the chat feature in your Messages app.

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Google Assistant voice command shortcuts

Google is also rolling out Assistant shortcuts to access different parts of the apps directly from voice search and also have them as a widget form in the Assistant window. So you can say things like “Hey Google, resume my run on Strava.” Shortcuts were originally announced last year, but this is an extension of the feature.

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Earthquake alerts

Google originally announced phone-based earthquake alerts last year and rolled them out to users in New Zealand and Greece in April. Now the company is set to make this feature available to more users across the world. Today, the company is rolling it out to Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Philippines, Tajikistan, Turkey, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. Later this year, Google plans to make these earthquake alerts globally available. 

Emoji kitchen

Google’s emoji kitchen lets you create stickers by mixing certain emoji. Till now, you had to search for them while using them in a chat. Now, Android will bring them up contextually when you’re typing a text.

Google's emoji kitchen suggestions
Google’s emoji kitchen suggestions


Google is also bringing new features to Android Auto and Voice Access accessibility features. You can read about all the announcements here.

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