RCS now has Ultra HDR support in Google Messages

Over the past three years, Google and Samsung have made significant efforts to promote the RCS standard, and it appears to have been effective. Apple has even declared that it will enable RCS Universal Profile on iPhones starting in the upcoming year. Google is enhancing Google Messages RCS with even more functionality in advance of that release.

Google has quietly updated the Google Messages app to allow users to share and receive photographs in the Ultra HDR format using RCS. TheSpAndroid discovered this feature in the Google Messages application source via Android Authority. Since it doesn’t have a device that supports Ultra HDR, the magazine was unable to test the function on its own, although it did question some Pixel 8 customers. It appears that those users attested to their ability to transmit Ultra HDR images through Google messages and RCS.

The Google Messages app has a code string that reads “bugle.support_ultra_hdr” in its most recent version. Android 14 brought in the Ultra HDR feature, but not all devices running that version of the OS can take advantage of it. For instance, the Ultra HDR format is not supported by Samsung phones running One UI 6.0, which is based on Android 14. Nonetheless, we anticipate that Samsung will include support for this picture format in the upcoming One UI release.

Standard JPEG files now include HDR (High Dynamic Range) metadata thanks to the Ultra HDR format. This is clever because it allows devices with screens incapable of supporting HDR photos to display ordinary JPEG data without the HDR information. Even though the device supports Ultra HDR, apps that do not support it will erase HDR metadata and display an SDR image. Therefore, it will take some time before all significant apps support Ultra HDR.

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