New Camera UI in Google Messages Enhances User Chat Experience

What you should know


  • Google is introducing a new camera UI for Google Messages, allowing Android users to access camera features directly within a conversation without using the system camera app.
  • The new camera UI in Google Messages is built using the Compose toolkit and offers simplified controls compared to the system camera app, including zoom adjustments, flash toggle, and switching between rear and front-facing cameras.
  • A new feature within the Google Messages camera UI enables users to switch between taking a photograph and recording a video directly from the bottom of the screen.
  • The update to Google Messages with the new camera UI is being rolled out via a server-side update to beta version 20240312_00_RC00, and users can check their app version and updates through the Google Play Store.


Full Story

Oh, hey! So, Google’s rolling out this snazzy new camera UI for Google Messages. Yeah, that’s right. Android folks can now ditch the old default viewfinder on their phones. Just tap the camera icon in the text field while you’re in a convo. Bam! You’re in.

Remember the days before this update? If you were using Google Messages, you had to hop over to the system camera app for a preview. A bit of a hassle, right? And oh, if you were a Pixel user, you had all those fancy options. White Balance, exposure adjustments, and even setting a timer. Fancy stuff.

But here’s the deal with the new viewfinder in Google Messages. It’s built with the Compose toolkit. Google’s pretty big on that for Android UIs. The thing is, it’s way more stripped down than what you’re used to with the system camera app UI. Simplicity is key, I guess.

Now, about the controls. You can play around with the zoom. There are three default settings, plus you can pinch-to-zoom. Neat, huh? And there’s a flash button up in the right corner. Plus, a nifty little button to switch between the rear and front-facing cameras. Selfie time, anyone?

Oh, and there’s this cool new feature. It’s at the bottom of the screen. Lets you flip between snapping a photo or recording a video. Before, you had to decide that before even opening the camera in Google Messages. Talk about an upgrade.

Switching gears for a sec. On the left, you’ve got the old system camera UI. And on the right? The shiny new Google Messages camera UI. It’s like comparing a flip phone to a smartphone. Okay, maybe not that dramatic, but you get the point.

According to the folks over at 9to5Google, this update is being pushed out today. It’s all happening server-side. And it’s popping up in beta version 20240312_00_RC00 of the Google Messages app. Wanna check if you’ve got it? Dive into Settings > Apps and do a bit of scrolling. Tap on Messages and scroll all the way down. That’s where you’ll find your version info.

So, I checked my Pixel 6 Pro, which is running on Android 14 QPR3 beta 2. And guess what? My version of Messages is 20240126_04_RC00. Looks like I’m not part of the cool club yet. No new Messages camera UI for me. Yet. But hey, you can always check the Play Store. Tap on your profile icon, hit Manage apps & device, and then Update all. Fingers crossed the new feature is waiting for you there.

Phew! That was a lot. But hey, updates are exciting, right? Especially when they make life just a tad easier.

Derrick Flynn
Derrick Flynn
With over four years of experience in tech journalism, Derrick has honed his skills and knowledge to become a vital part of the PhonesInsights team. His intuitive reviews and insightful commentary on the latest smartphones and wearable technology consistently provide our readers with valuable information.


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