Credit: Ryan-Thomas Shaw / Android Authority
- Code snippets found by XDA Developers suggest that Google Messages does not support uncertified Android devices after March 31, 2021.
- Uncertified devices are Android devices that Google has not officially authorized to access its mobile services.
- As of May 2019, new Huawei devices fall into this category.
Google Messages may soon stop working with uncertified Android phones, including those made by Huawei. New code snippets found by XDA Developers in app version 7.7.203 suggest that the app does not support devices that it has not officially certified to run Google Mobile Services (GMS) after March 31, 2021.
Related: Everything you need to know about RCS messaging
Huawei agreed to migrate its users to Messages in 2018 when Google was trying to build a critical mass of RCS adoption. However, when the U.S. government put the company on the Commerce Department’s Entity List in 2019, Google could no longer work with Huawei. Since then, new Huawei devices have shipped without any apps created by Google, including Messages. But that doesn’t mean people haven’t been able to circumvent the ban. Messages is one of the few proprietary apps that you can easily load onto phones that don’t have access to GMS because you don’t need a Google account to use it. This will no longer be the case later this year.
XDA suggests that the upcoming restriction is likely related to the fact that messages will support end-to-end encryption. If Google continued to allow uncertified devices to execute messages, it would be difficult for the company to ensure that conversations involving uncertified devices would not be compromised. The feature is currently in beta, but an official rollout could begin this year.
If you’re currently using Google Messages on an uncertified device, consider checking out one of these alternatives before the deadline.