Sharing photos on Google Messages could get a whole lot easier

Google Messages left-panel menu
(Image credit: Jay Bonggolto / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Google Messages is apparently introducing a camera shortcut on the home screen to streamline photo sharing.
  • The new shortcut will open the device's camera app directly, allowing users to quickly capture and share photos within conversations.
  • Google could also be working on a redesigned full-screen share screen to further enhance sharing capabilities.

Google Messages has been recently picking up a steady stream of updates, and a potentially new addition may be a camera shortcut right on the home screen.

9to5Google has spotted a handy new shortcut right next to the app's search button at the top. Once tapped, the shortcut will presumably let you snap a photo, and you'll be prompted to choose who you want to share it with. Although the full-screen "Select recipients" redesign is still in the works, this quick shortcut makes sharing those spontaneous moments a breeze.

Currently, sharing images on Google Messages is already pretty straightforward, given that a camera button is just a tap away in the bottom left corner of a specific conversation (beside the plus button). Alternatively, you can tap the plus button and choose "Gallery" from the menu, which brings up the same interface for snapping or sharing pictures (although this requires more work).

That said, Google may want to put that functionality front and center on the home screen with this tweak. Instead of navigating through menus, you'll soon have a direct camera shortcut the moment you launch Messages.

This new discovery comes after Google removed the top search bar from the home screen of the messaging app.

Google Messages camera shortcut on the home screen

(Image credit: 9to5Google)

Google Messages is on a roll with updates, and the new camera shortcut could just be the newest in their quest for a more streamlined messaging experience. An update in September removed its side navigation drawer, which contained several options like Archive and Spam & blocked. Earlier this month, the app's conversation picker from the system share sheet gained a revamped interface that allows beta testers to select multiple random contacts to send a message to at once.

At the moment, though, the company appears to be rolling out the new shortcut to a limited group of users, making sure it's working flawlessly before sharing the fun with everyone. So, if you don't see it on your home screen just yet, keep an eye out.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer & Reviewer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.

  • goombah88
    I would be ecstatic if the next update included a fix for sharing pictures from Google Photos on Google Messenger. Ever since I had to replace my phone (water damage), by default sharing in Google Messenger only shows pictures I've actually taken with that phone. In order to share anything from Google Photos I have to click through 4 different menus to reach the photos "in the cloud". Google searches have been no help whatsoever.