Android Messages, Google's main app for texting on smartphones, could soon get a major upgrade.
Multiple outlets have reported that the search giant is testing AR effects in the program, much like those we see on Instagram and Snapchat.
The effects, when fully released, would make Android Messages even more engaging.
Here's everything you need to know about them.
Just recently, the folks at XDA-Developers activated AR effects in Android Messages and found as many as five different filters.
The filters were accessed by tapping on a new 'Effects' button in the app's camera viewfinder, which is accessed through the conversation page.
Now, this would allow a user to click a picture with an AR filter and send it instantly.
Currently, the app is testing filters for a plane window, balloons, fireworks, confetti, and an angel, the XDA report noted.
The effects detect the face of the user with high accuracy and apply instantly in the camera viewfinder.
However, it's worth noting that the filters are only accessed from the messaging app and not from third-party cameras.
There is no word on when the feature would go out of the testing phase.
However, the development comes just as Google continues with the plan to power Android Messages with Rich Communication Services.
The standard, commonly dubbed RCS, would make the app similar to iMessage and enable instant high-resolution media sharing, read receipts, group chats, and several other features.
As RCS availability depends on operator and hardware support, we expect its roll-out to vary from country to country.
Google is working with Jio, Airtel, and Vodafone, but there is no precise roll-out timeline.
Last year, Anil Sabharwal, Google's Head of Communications, claimed, "Our goal is to get this level of quality messaging to our users on Android within the next couple of years."
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