Google Messages adds support for Ultra HDR Images in RCS Chats

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Google Messages is adding support for Ultra HDR (High Dynamic Range) images in RCS chats. This feature is available on Android 14 devices and requires an Ultra HDR image. Ultra HDR images can only be viewed on HDR displays, but they will still look good on non-HDR displays.

Google Messages does not appear to be stripping the HDR gain map from Ultra HDR images, which is good news for the image format’s future and that of the messaging platform.

What is Ultra HDR?

Ultra HDR is a new image format that is the standard JPEG format with HDR metadata. This means that Ultra HDR images can be viewed on HDR and non-HDR displays. HDR displays can take advantage of the HDR metadata to boost the colors and contrast of the image. You can achieve a more vibrant and natural-looking photo with Ultra HDR. This technology enhances the range of colors and improves shadows and highlights.

To send an Ultra HDR image, you must capture it with an Ultra HDR-capable device. The Pixel 8 series is the only device to capture Ultra HDR images. Once you have captured an Ultra HDR image, you can send it to anyone with a Pixel 8 device using Google Messages on Android 14.

Google appears to be working quickly on its RCS and Google Messages app, with Apple announcing RCS support for next year. Coincidence?

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