Google to block Messages app on some Android phones - Mobile World Live

Google to block Messages app on some Android phones

21 JAN 2021

Google appeared poised to block some Android users from accessing its Messages app, a move apparently related to a push to employ end-to-end encryption for the service.

9to5Google spotted code in a beta version of the app stating Messages will “stop working on uncertified devices” on 31 March.

If executed, 9to5Google noted the move would likely impact a small number of users, notably those with Huawei devices released after US trade restrictions prevented it accessing Google’s services.

On a support website, Google said it vets and certifies devices from manufacturers which preload its services to “ensure they are secure and ready to run apps from Google and the Play Store”. Uncertified devices “may not be secure and may not function properly”.

Huawei’s Mate 30 was the first to launch without Google services, though executives said at the time they could be side loaded from another device.

9to5Google speculated the clampdown was tied to Google’s push to deploy end-to-end encryption on Messages, noting the company would not be able to guarantee uncertified devices are secure.

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Diana Goovaerts

Diana is Mobile World Live's US Editor, reporting on infrastructure and spectrum rollouts, regulatory issues, and other carrier news from the US market. Diana came to GSMA from her former role as Editor of Wireless Week and CED Magazine, digital-only...

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