Google Messages is Google’s default SMS app that come pre-loaded with Pixel and Android One smartphones. The app provides basic messaging functions along with some extra features like sorting messages into categories automatically. Google Messages is also one of the apps that can be easily side-loaded on any smartphone. An APK teardown has now shown strings that hint that Google Messages will stop working on uncertified Android smartphones by the end of March 2021.
According to an APK teardown of Google Messages by XDA Developers, the app will stop working on uncertified Android devices from March 31 onwards. Uncertified Android smartphone are those smartphones that run on Android, but skipped through Google’s official certification for Google Mobile Services. These smartphones do not come with the mandatory Google apps, but there are ways with which users can sideload Google Apps and service frameworks. Now, while Google has put an end to this practice from device makers, Google Message has remained immune from the fallout of these decisions. Google Messages can easily be sideloaded if it is not pre-installed and it doesn’t even need a Google sign-in to work on its own, so it would still work on all Android devices, including Huawei smartphones.
Going by the findings of XDA Developers, this is now going to change. The change is said to be an extension of the RCS end-to-end encryption rollout, as Google will not be able to guarantee if an uncertified device is not compromised.