Stories
Slash Boxes
Comments

SoylentNews is people

SoylentNews is powered by your submissions, so send in your scoop. Only 18 submissions in the queue.
posted by janrinok on Tuesday March 05, @03:46AM   Printer-friendly

Users with rooted phones have reported being unable to send or receive RCS messages on the platform:

Google is cracking down on rooted Android devices, blocking multiple people from using the RCS [Rich Communication Services] message feature in Google Messages. Users with rooted phones — a process that unlocks privileged access to the Android operating system, like jailbreaking iPhones — have made several reports on the Google Messages support page, Reddit, andXDA's web forum over the last few months, finding they're suddenly unable to send or receive RCS messages.

One example from Reddit user u/joefuf shows that RCS messages would simply vanish after hitting the send button. Several reports also mention that Google Messages gave no indication that RCS chat was no longer working, and was still showing as connected and working in Google Messages.

In a statement sent to the Verge where we asked if Google is blocking rooted devices from using RCS, Google communications manager Ivy Hunt said the company is "ensuring that message-issuing/receiving devices are following the operating measures defined by the RCS standard" in a bid to prevent spam and abuse on Google Messages. In other words, yes, Google is blocking RCS on rooted devices.

"Google rotates through many solutions to ensure that Android users can communicate sufficiently — and devices that may not have access to one communication protocol will always have at least one other available," said Hunt. "In this case, users that are not able to use RCS still have access to SMS & MMS messaging."

There is some merit to Google's concern: RCS messaging has faced challenges with tackling spam forcing Google to disable its RCS ads feature in India back in 2022, for example.

Some services like payment and banking apps, including Google Pay/Wallet, will stop working if they detect that users have rooted their device as a security measure, but these will typically provide a warning message to explain the device is unsupported. For users who experienced RCS issues with Google Messages, no such warning is apparently provided.

While all cell phones started with the short message service (SMS), which offers quick text communication, Apple has been the leader in providing a more interactive texting experience. If you aren't sure what RCS messaging is, you're probably familiar with it and aren't aware of the differences. If you have an iPhone, you're used to using Apple's iMessage, which is similar to RCS in that it offers many features that traditional text doesn't. However, Android users are probably familiar with RCS chat through third-party messaging apps.

Understanding RCS messaging isn't difficult when you realize what it includes. Since it's generally the more dynamic and secure way to communicate via text compared to SMS and multimedia messaging service (MMS), you'll want to know how to take advantage of it going forward.


Original Submission

This discussion was created by janrinok (52) for logged-in users only, but now has been archived. No new comments can be posted.
Display Options Threshold/Breakthrough Mark All as Read Mark All as Unread
The Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not responsible for them in any way.
(1)
  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Ox0000 on Tuesday March 05, @04:10AM (5 children)

    by Ox0000 (5111) on Tuesday March 05, @04:10AM (#1347404)

    It's comforting to see that they're still holding true to their original tag-line: "Don't, be evil!"

    • (Score: 2, Disagree) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 05, @02:02PM (4 children)

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 05, @02:02PM (#1347440)

      Just because you don't like it, doesn't qualify it as "evil".

      • (Score: 5, Informative) by requerdanos on Tuesday March 05, @04:13PM (1 child)

        by requerdanos (5997) Subscriber Badge on Tuesday March 05, @04:13PM (#1347473) Journal

        It's my device. I own it. Therefore I own root on it. Not Google. Their asserting control over *my* device (I have not granted them this right) is evil. Not a matter of liking it or not.

        • (Score: 2) by loonycyborg on Tuesday March 05, @10:21PM

          by loonycyborg (6905) on Tuesday March 05, @10:21PM (#1347517)

          If it's rooted then you have full control over software. It's only matter of time before someone figures out how to fool that RCS check.

      • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Ox0000 on Tuesday March 05, @04:41PM (1 child)

        by Ox0000 (5111) on Tuesday March 05, @04:41PM (#1347477)

        In what universe is this not running a file system check on a user of that operating system?
        Do you like this behavior being done to you?

        To emphasize what an earlier sibling post said: it is my phone, not anyone else's. The level of normalization and acceptance that has occurred where people just comply not only without question, but with giddy anticipation when a corporation merely starts the sentence "bend over, spread wide, and say thank you with conviction" is incomprehensible and mind-boggling.

        The standard argument that this corporation - and apple bears the exact same scarlet letter in this matter - makes is "ohhh... but we can no longer guarantee that a rooted system is 'trustworthy'" is bogus and rings hollow. They have no business in being in the business of guaranteeing that. Because that 'trustworthiness guarantee' is aimed solely, uniquely to their real customers and serves (almost) no other purpose than being able to "guarantee" that the individual using the device can be abuse as hard, as deeply, and as often as their true customers want.

        Companies such as google, apple, microsoft, and many, many others are not your friend! They will suck you dry, sell your corpse to the next vulture who will abuse it some more, and then toss you out to go drink on the lifeblood of their next victim.

        You, AC, are an apologist for both continued and increasing abuse by these corporations.
        May you from now on stub your toe against a table-leg every 42 seconds until the moment you expire...

        • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 06, @03:44AM

          by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 06, @03:44AM (#1347543)

          I'm paraplegic, you insensitive clod!

  • (Score: 5, Informative) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Tuesday March 05, @05:27AM (10 children)

    by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Tuesday March 05, @05:27AM (#1347406)

    Use a deGoogled phone: no Google Play services means no Google deciding what you can or cannot do with your phone.

    Of course, that entails no Google Chat. No Google Chat, no RCS. Problem solved!

    This can help [reddit.com].

    • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Rich on Tuesday March 05, @09:41AM (7 children)

      by Rich (945) on Tuesday March 05, @09:41AM (#1347425) Journal

      The issue with de-googling is that a good number of de-facto unavoidable digital infrastructure things (bank account TFA, train fare app, ...) rely on the play store. This comes down to a legislative issue, where it would have to be made mandatory that such access to basic services cannot be made dependent on proprietary, non-standard platforms.

      Also, silent failures suck big time. I got a minor panic attack a few days ago when a some external drive wouldn't mount on a Mac. Plugged it into a Linux machine and made another backup right away, and fsck'd it, no issues. The Mac would still not mount it, but on further investigation, the Mac was just silently fsck'ing it before mounting, which took around 10 minutes. Disk Utility offered to mount, but failed with an obscure error message. There's no way to find out for a layman that it's not broken, and even I got tricked until I ran "ps ax", knowing what to look for.

      • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Tuesday March 05, @10:02AM (5 children)

        by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Tuesday March 05, @10:02AM (#1347427)

        The issue with de-googling is that a good number of de-facto unavoidable digital infrastructure things (bank account TFA, train fare app, ...) rely on the play store

        There are ways around those problems. microG [microg.org] is one.

        And if you really have to you Google services, there are 3rd party software to avoid the privacy invasion. For instance NewPipe [newpipe.net] for Youtube or SimplyTranslate [f-droid.org] for Google Translate. In fact, not only do they let you use Google services, they're better than the genuine Google apps. And that's when there aren't better services than Google's in the first place, which there are more and more these days, seeing as though Google is slipping quite badly in the quality of their offering.

        I've been rocking deGoogled phones for quite some time and the inconveniences are really quite minor at this point. Alternatives to Google exist and they are very very good now. It's perfectly possible to live a normal life with your cellphone and give Google the finger in 2024.

        • (Score: 4, Interesting) by Rich on Tuesday March 05, @10:54AM (4 children)

          by Rich (945) on Tuesday March 05, @10:54AM (#1347430) Journal

          It's not that you can't do it, but that the institutions flat out refuse to run their stuff on anything un-googled. The "mildest" form is that ithis stuff is available through the Google Play Store only and can't be installed via separate APK. No Google Services, no Play Store, no bank account, no train ticket. It used to be that they had those micro-calculator like TFA widgets, but no longer. The worst form was a gym booking app that said my phone was rooted and refused to run - even when my phone wasn't rooted at all and in complete stock condition. The interesting thing about microG is that it actually was funded by the German government, but once such stuff moves towards critical mass in the slightest way, strings get pulled in the background and it fizzles out.

          • (Score: 2, Disagree) by gnuman on Tuesday March 05, @01:43PM (3 children)

            by gnuman (5013) on Tuesday March 05, @01:43PM (#1347435)

            no bank account, no train ticket

            If this is deal breaker, then choose a different bank? Use a different way of buying train tickets?

            Your argument is similar to complaining that you want to use Wine for some program and it doesn't run there. Well, who's problem is that? I don't go to sites that require Facebook to login or will not work with uBlock Origin, but it's mostly my problem and the site's.

            • (Score: 5, Informative) by Freeman on Tuesday March 05, @02:21PM

              by Freeman (732) on Tuesday March 05, @02:21PM (#1347447) Journal

              I think the problem is that public services are requiring use of a private service for service.

              --
              Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
            • (Score: 4, Insightful) by Rich on Tuesday March 05, @02:32PM (1 child)

              by Rich (945) on Tuesday March 05, @02:32PM (#1347452) Journal

              There's the "Deutschlandticket" in Germany, which compounds all local public transport and the slower long-distance trains for 49 EUR a month. I don't have one, but a friend of mine who loathes smartphones needs one to get to work. The alternative to the convenient submittance to Google is queueing in front of an overcrowed sales counter many weeks in advance, and IIRC paying about 40% more. If _I_ wanted to make a point, I wouldn't make myself look like an idiot spending, like, a billable day of work on figuring out on how to maybe push an APK onto a customized phone. Instead, I could buy a nice (well, used, I'm not _that_ rich) extended length V12 limousine and hire a chauffeur a little above minimum wage and look down on the public transport plebs from the rear seat. However, that lady works at said salary a little above the minimum wage and besides the extra cost, her work schedule only would let her purchase the monthly ticket during a very narrow time slot on a specific Saturday where that ticket counter is most overcrowed. I've seen the 50m queue myself. Fuck them. Such a public service shall not be tied in with proprietary foreign corporations.

              For banks, the choices are similarly bad. Aside from having to deal with every business contact to switch accounts, the options are as meager. There is no "choice". In fact, even existing options get worse, I can't access one of my (unimportant) secondary accounts at the moment, because they deprecated the little handheld TFA widget and want me to use the phone, which I have not "activated" or whatever yet.

              As long as corporations (and even public utilities) get away with "It's not that we offer only a Windows option. You also can have Apple(*). Linux? We don't offer that." it will get worse, and for those services that affect the largest part of the population, a freely available and nationally (or for chrissakes, EU) controlled platform must be legally mandated. It won't work otherwise.

              (*) in practice as long as it's a macOS version not older than three years and not younger than one year.

              • (Score: 2) by Freeman on Wednesday March 06, @05:12PM

                by Freeman (732) on Wednesday March 06, @05:12PM (#1347612) Journal

                You could always drive to work. What, you're not making enough to afford rent and a car? I hear carpooling is a thing. Seriously though, if you're in a big city even in the USA, you're likely using public transportation. Well some people are anyway. Even some of the big cities in the USA have horrific public transportation. Yes, I would love to take 4x the amount of time it would take me to drive there. No, not really ChatGPT. We know you're harvesting all the data, so stop it. (One came dream.)

                --
                Joshua 1:9 "Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee"
      • (Score: 3, Interesting) by bzipitidoo on Tuesday March 05, @02:49PM

        by bzipitidoo (4388) on Tuesday March 05, @02:49PM (#1347456) Journal

        > silent failures suck big time

        This! An old phone of mine came with Android 5, with the promise to upgrade to 6 when available. I was especially looking forward to a new feature in 6, the ability to transcribe voice mails to text. For about a month, the phone had that feature. New updates were frequent, and I figured that was just putting the final touches on the upgrade to Android 6. Then, one day, I couldn't find the voice to text feature. I didn't use it that often, and thought I'd just misremembered where it was. Hunted for it in vain. Reading about it online, I finally found it again. It was a 4th tab on the voice mail interface, and some scumbag had quietly removed that tab, reverting it to the 3 tabs in Android 5, no explanation, warning, nothing. To this day, I don't even know for sure if it was the service provider or Google who removed it, though I strongly suspect it was the provider.

        I found it quite upsetting that mysterious others had that much control over my phone. Smacked of printer firmware "upgrades" that break the printer's acceptance of 3rd party ink.

    • (Score: 3, Interesting) by DadaDoofy on Tuesday March 05, @01:46PM (1 child)

      by DadaDoofy (23827) on Tuesday March 05, @01:46PM (#1347437)

      And no push notifications from any apps that use Firebase to send them (is there another way?) either.

      • (Score: 2) by Rosco P. Coltrane on Wednesday March 06, @04:02AM

        by Rosco P. Coltrane (4757) on Wednesday March 06, @04:02AM (#1347545)

        microG supports Firebase notifications. It strips as much information as possible when it authentifies with the Firebase server. See here [doc.e.foundation].

        Of course, you do have to let your phone contact a Google server, which is less than ideal. But it's not like it plain doesn't work.

  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Opportunist on Tuesday March 05, @08:06AM (4 children)

    by Opportunist (5545) on Tuesday March 05, @08:06AM (#1347416)

    Whatever it may be, to be honest, it's the first time I even heard about something like that.

    There's plenty of communication apps and protocols out there, the very last I need is one that only allows communication within a walled garden system.

    • (Score: 4, Informative) by Lester on Tuesday March 05, @02:28PM (2 children)

      by Lester (6231) on Tuesday March 05, @02:28PM (#1347450) Journal

      This protocol allows to send, for free, SMS-like message with rich content, and more important, it allows to send message to people that only have SMS.
      It is used by many companies to send to customers, for example, codes to implement second factor authentication.. for free. It is supposed to become a standard to replace the old SMS, that contrary to SMS, may use wifi, data, and attach documents etc. And most phone companies have implemented the protocol.

      What I didn't know is that Google has such control

      • (Score: 2) by Dr Spin on Tuesday March 05, @09:24PM (1 child)

        by Dr Spin (5239) on Tuesday March 05, @09:24PM (#1347509)

        SMS-like message with rich content
        This is an even more shitty plague than HTML emails.
        It probably even rates the status of "a crime against humanity".
        If we wanted this kind of crap, we would not be using SMS.

        --
        Warning: Opening your mouth may invalidate your brain!
        • (Score: 2) by Lester on Thursday March 07, @03:00PM

          by Lester (6231) on Thursday March 07, @03:00PM (#1347761) Journal

          What's wrong with being able to attach files, use emphasis certain parts, or lists with dots or numbers?
          I do think that in email people abuse of fancy features, but that's now enough reason to ban it.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 05, @03:33PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday March 05, @03:33PM (#1347462)
(1)