Google Messages Get Support for Ultra HDR Images in RCS Chats: Report

Mobile

Google’s Messages app has reportedly added Ultra HDR support in RCS (Rich Communication Services) chats. This functionality will allow users to share high-quality images in their RCS messages. The Ultra HDR image format is available on devices running on Android 14. Google’s new Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro handsets are among the first to receive the new feature. Google Messages app already offers features like typing indicators, and photo and video sharing among others.

As spotted by TheSpAndroid, Google Messages has gained support for Ultra HDR images in RCS chats. This would let users improve their messaging experience by exchanging Ultra HDR images on RCS chats. Ultra HDR is a new image format that is available on Android 14. Currently, Google’s Pixel 8 lineup is the only Ultra HDR-capable device available.

As per the APK teardown of the app spotted by the publication, the code “bugle.support_ultra_hdr” suggests support for Ultra HDR images in Google Messages. Google reportedly added support for Ultra HDR images back in September just ahead of the launch of the Pixel 8 series.

The Ultra HDR image format was introduced by Google with the Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro. It is a variation of the standard JPEG format with HDR metadata and offers a better image experience with detailed highlights and shadows. The Ultra HDR images can be viewed on HDR and non-HDR displays.

Google Messages already offers several messaging features including read receipts, typing indicators, inline replies, group chats, video calls, and more in RCS chats.

Google’s major rival Apple is planning to bring the RCS protocol to iPhone models in 2024. The new RCS standard will work alongside iMessage. It will debut on iPhone models via a software update next year and add a wide range of iMessage-style features to messaging between iPhone and Android devices.


Google I/O 2023 saw the search giant repeatedly tell us that it cares about AI, alongside the launch of its first foldable phone and Pixel-branded tablet. This year, the company is going to supercharge its apps, services, and Android operating system with AI technology. We discuss this and more on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Spotify, Gaana, JioSaavn, Google Podcasts, Apple Podcasts, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.
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