Ultra HDR support sneaks into Google Messages for the Pixel 8

Google Messages on Pixel 6 Pro
(Image credit: Nick Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Pixel 8 and 8 Pro users are starting to notice Ultra HDR support in Google Messages in RCS-enabled chats.
  • Ultra HDR in Android 14 works to increase the vibrancy of photos by darkening shadows and boosting other elements.
  • Messages follows Google Photos, which received such support back in September before the official rollout of Android 14.

Google's default texting app has gained new imaging support that ensures our photos are kept at the highest quality.

According to The SpAndroid, Google Messages has gained support for Ultra HDR images whenever people are communicating via RCS (via Android Police). While this new image standard is wrapped in Android 14, it would seem that Pixel 8 and Pixel 8 Pro users are among the first to receive it, the post adds.

In conjunction with a telegram user, confirmation of Messages' support of Ultra HDR was evident through the sudden brightening of images sent in an RCS-enabled chat. Ultra HDR works to darken the shadows of an image while also brightening various elements of the photo, creating a more vibrant captured moment.

Additionally, Google Messages doesn't seem to strip sent photos of what allows them to be categorized as Ultra HDR. During compression, many websites will not only reduce the file size but will strip the image of its HDR metadata.

Compression still occurs in Messages but the photos' gain map metadata remains intact, ensuring the benefits of Ultra HDR continue to the recipient.

The redesigned camera UI on the Google Pixel 8 Pro

(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

SpAndroid reiterates Google's implementation of Ultra HDR support in Chrome and Photos. The latter received such treatment back in September before the launch of Android 14 the month after. Google stated that rendering a photo in HDR is done through the UI automatically so long as the app supports the software — which Messages now does.

As Google brings in a way for our photos to look stellar even when texted, the company is bringing some UI changes to the app, as well. Changes such as a revamped profile section and a repositioned chat bar were previewed recently. The voice messaging feature will seemingly gain its own dedicated button outside of the chat bar while the emoji button jumps to the far left side of the bar.

Lastly, the potential changes highlight a new E2EE status section when viewing the profile of a contact in Messages.

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.