Google Messages gives uncertified Android phones an ultimatum

Eric Abent - Jan 20, 2021, 10:04am CST
Google Messages gives uncertified Android phones an ultimatum

If you’ve got an uncertified Android device in your pocket that’s running Google Messages, then you should know that your days with the app are numbered. Google has started alerting users that Messages will stop working on uncertified devices in March, leaving those using such a device to look elsewhere for a messaging service. While few Android users likely use an uncertified device as their daily driver, those who do should start seeing this alert soon.

It was discovered by 9to5Google in a recent deep dive into the latest APK for Google Messages. The alert is short and to the point, with Google only saying “On March 31, Messages will stop working on uncertified devices, including this one.” As 9to5Google points out, uncertified Android phones typically don’t have access to Google’s suite of apps, but Google Messages is something of an exception to that rule since it needs to be downloaded from the Google Play Store and doesn’t typically come pre-installed on Android devices.

This alert was found in the Google Messages 7.2 beta, which is available now through the Google Play Store. Google doesn’t give a reason for ending Messages functionationality on uncertified phones, but 9to5Google suspects that it could have something to do with the fact that the app now uses end-to-end encryption to keep the content of messages private. With Google unable to ensure the privacy of messages sent and received by uncertified devices remains intact, it likely figured that ending support across the board was the easier approach.

As noted, there probably aren’t a whole lot of Android users out there who will need to worry about this, though this is likely to be a big headache for Huawei users. Since mid-2019, the US government has effectively banned US companies from working with Huawei – including Google. That means any Huawei phone made after May 2019 and running Google Messages would be one of these uncertified devices Google is talking about and will lose support on March 31st.

So, if you’re using one of those devices and Google Messages is your messaging app of choice, then your days using the app are coming to an end. We’ll see if Google speaks more on the matter of Google Messages losing support on uncertified Android devices, so stay tuned for more.


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