Google has been pushing the RCS Standard for the past few years, and now Ultra-HDR support for RCS is a welcome improvement that allows users to share even more stunning photos with their friends and family. With the introduction of Android 14, devices now have support for Ultra-HDR, so it’s important that your device supports Ultra-HDR and is running on Android 14. Similarly, Ultra-HDR is supported on OnePlus and Oppo’s ProXDR.

Google is encouraging app developers to adopt Ultra HDR by actively seeking out apps to support the format and also providing feedback to developers about Ultra HDR compatibility. With new demands for Ultra HDR support, app developers are more likely to prioritise incorporating it into their apps. This is a major improvement, and Ultra HDR represents a promising step towards improving image quality. However, it depends on the collective efforts of app developers and users.

Ultra HDR support for RCS

Ultra-HDR was introduced with Android 14 for better dynamic range and HDR data integration through metadata. However, if the recipient’s device lacks metadata support, then the image will appear as a base JPEG. Google has quietly added support for Ultra HDR images to RCS, with the code string “bugle.supportultrahdr” spotted by TheSpaAndroid.

Google’s latest beta for Messages added support for Ultra-HDR images to its RCS Standard. This means that it can now capture a wider range of tones and colours than standard HDR, unlocking the potential for more realistic and detailed images.

This feature is currently available to Google Pixel 8 Series users, but we can expect the Ultra-HDR feature to expand to more devices in the coming months. Using this feature is quite easy. Google Message will automatically detect if the image is in Ultra-HDR format and send it accordingly.

This improves the overall experience of using RCS on Android; therefore, app developers must prioritise Ultra HDR support to fully realise the potential of this technology which requires updating the existing app to include Ultra HDR compatibility in new apps from the outset.

Benefits of Ultra-HDR Imaging in RCS

There are several benefits to having the Ultra-HDR image in RCS. Users can now share Ultra-HDR images via RCS via Google Message.

  • Realistic and detailed images: You can capture a wide range of tones and colours for better detailed and realistic images.
  • Better Highlights and Shadows: This preserves highlights and shadows from being blown out or lost in darkness.
  • Image Quality in Low-Light: You can capture more detail in low-light conditions for improved image quality.

Google is working on several more features for Google Message, like improving the typing indicators, reading receipts, enhanced privacy controls, improved group messaging, and enhanced media sharing, to improve the overall experience for users.

Apple has also confirmed they will be adding GSM’s RCS Standard support to iMessage in 2024. This is in response to pressure from regulators and competitors like Google and Samsung to bring a wide range of iMessage-style features to messaging between iPhone and Android users. Not to mention, RCS on iMessage will likely bring Ultra-HDR support.

However, Apple will keep the green bubble status for messages to prevent users from switching between Android and iOS devices, and Apple also said that they are committed to keeping iMessage as a safe and secure platform for its users. We can say that Apple may simply want to maintain its competitive advantage in the messaging app market.