Google Photos shows signs of Ultra HDR support ahead of Android 14

Google Photos logo on mobile screen
(Image credit: Jay Bonggolto / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • The latest version of Google Photos contains strings of code referencing its upcoming Ultra HDR support for Android 14.
  • Ultra HDR should bring greater contrast and more vibrancy to users' captured photos once it rolls out.
  • We are still awaiting a stable Android 14 as Google recently pushed Beta 5.2 to enrolled testers.

It looks like Google is almost ready to roll out its latest image support in Photos alongside its next major Android release.

After digging into Google Photos' latest version, code deep-diver AssembleDeBug privately posted evidence of the app's Ultra HDR support on Telegram (via Android Police).

The listed strings of code found during the dive are as follows:

  • Ultra HDR disabled
  • UltraHdrPreviewFragment
  • photos_mediadetails_details_ultra_hdr

What's interesting is that we were given our first look at Google's Ultra HDR support for Photos back during Android 14 Beta 2. The company detailed through an Android Developers blog post that 10-bit high dynamic range (HDR) support will bring "vibrant colors and greater contrast."

Furthermore, the included HDR format that Android will leverage supports full backward compatibility with JPEG images. If necessary, the software can display images in a standard dynamic range (SDR). Additionally, Google states rendering a user's images in HDR is done through the UI automatically — so long as the user's app opts to utilize its potential.

We may have to wait a while before this Ultra HDR support arrives on Android phones in a widespread fashion. Google rolled out yet another beta for its upcoming OS, Android 14 Beta 5.2, as it looks to get rid of some persistent bugs that have continued to plague its Pixel Fold and Pixel Tablet.

In other news, Google Photos is finally letting users back up their saved locked folder pictures to the cloud, making them accessible across devices. Users don't have to trust Google's cloud service to hold their most personal photos. However, the company does say it will be backed by "the world's most advanced security infrastructures."

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.