Google Messages snags a new, custom viewfinder for its camera

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

What you need to know

  • Google is rolling out a server-side update for Messages that revamps its camera's viewfinder UI.
  • The new UI simplifies things, offering options for zoom strength and convenient access for users to swap between snapping photos or shooting a video.
  • Messages' new UI loses out on additional camera settings and its old grid overlay as a result.

Google is rolling out a new custom camera UI for Messages today (Mar. 15) that offers a streamlined, convenient approach for users.

As spotted by 9to5Google, Messages' new camera UI will reportedly replace your Android phone's default viewfinder. The new UI is also built off "Compose" and lets users pinch to zoom in or tap the three default zoom strengths above the shutter button.

Google is finally letting users switch between snapping photos and recording videos. Messages' new UI features those options at the bottom, which should give users peace of mind, as they won't need to launch Messages' camera in one mode or the other.

While the app's new viewfinder offers a bit of convenience, Google has seemingly removed an array of camera tools. The app's cog wheel, which expanded on your camera settings, is no longer present in this UI redesign. For some devices, tapping on this cogwheel lets you tinker with your camera flash, set a timer, or even alter your camera's aspect ratio.

For other devices, tapping the icon would open the system's default settings for its camera. Additionally, the redesigned viewfinder drops the grid overlay.

The publication speculates that this revamped UI could allow Google to pop in more features down the road. For now, Google Messages' new camera UI is rolling out today (Mar. 15) as a server-side update. We haven't seen it appear just yet, meaning it's still making its rounds.

Google's latest camera rework in its messaging app comes two days after the company rolled out new emoji reaction effects. The effects are available for SMS and RCS chats and allow users to experience new animations when reacting to texts. The "dynamic twist" users will find only support a selection of 10 emojis. It's unclear if Google will add more to that list.

Nickolas Diaz
News Writer

Nickolas is always excited about tech and getting his hands on it. Writing for him can vary from delivering the latest tech story to scribbling in his journal. When Nickolas isn't hitting a story, he's often grinding away at a game or chilling with a book in his hand.