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Google Fi rolls out end-to-end encrypted calls

The feature will land first on Android phones.

Google Pixel 6
Patrick Holland/CNET

Google Fi, the search giant's mobile service, is rolling out end-to-end encrypted calls, the company said Thursday. The feature is starting with Android phones using Fi in the coming weeks.

End-to-end encryption essentially blocks anyone beside the parties communicating from accessing a conversation. Popular Facebook-owned chat app WhatsApp is among the other services that offer end-to-end encryption for calls and texts.

"End-to-end encryption has become an industry standard for real-time communications such as messaging -- and now, we're bringing it to phone calls, right from your Phone app," Google said in a blog post. "Calls between two Android phones on Fi will be secured with end-to-end encryption by default, so you can have peace of mind knowing your calls are staying between you and the person you're talking to."

A screenshot of an encrypted call using Google Fi

You'll see a lock symbol on encrypted calls using Google Fi.

Google

You'll know a call is encrypted by hearing a "unique ringing tone" and seeing a lock symbol on the screen before you're connected. That lock symbol will show up on the screen during a call, too.

End-to-end call encryption will first become available for one-to-one calls between Android phones using Fi in the coming weeks. Messages by Google already encrypts one-on-one texts and chats between parties using Messages and that have chat features enabled.