Google Messages gets support for Ultra HDR images in RCS chats

Google Photos and Google Chrome now support viewing Ultra HDR photographs, and Adobe Lightroom has recently added the ability to edit Ultra HDR images. Compatible devices and cameras can now access a new picture format called Ultra HDR with Android 14. Devices that support it add extra information to JPEG images when they are taken. Images might have brighter highlights and deeper shadows when using super HDR. The newest app to utilize super HDR photos and improve the texting experience for RCS users is Google Messages.

Just before the Pixel 8 series launched in September, Google covertly introduced the capability for Ultra HDR pictures. On the other hand, the Ultra HDR format allows the Google Messages app to display improved photographs, exactly like the Google Photos gallery does, according to a report (via TheSpAndroid). Be aware that applications that do not support Ultra HDR can only display the old JPEG image and will not benefit from the new format’s enhancements since they are unable to read the metadata.

It’s also possible that messaging applications without Ultra HDR compatibility remove extra metadata when compressing, which means you won’t be able to view the improved image from the app itself or from a compatible gallery if you download it. In Google Messages RCS conversations, users are able to share and receive Ultra HDR photos. Even if there are no signals indicating that the image is Ultra HDR, the gain map is still applied while viewing an image.

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It looks like Google Messages is not removing the HDR gain map from the picture, which is excellent news for both the messaging app and the image format going forward. Because MMS cannot send these types of photographs, Google Messages naturally supports the Ultra HDR image format through the RCS standard. Google Messages has an edge over other apps in its area because it is the only one that supports that format, starting with Android 14.

What matters is that sending and viewing ultra-HDR photographs is now only possible through Google Messages. It will be fascinating to observe if further features, including support for Markdown text formatting, animated message replies, and a new user interface, draw in more users and take market share away from rival apps like Telegram, WhatsApp, and Snapchat.

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