Google may integrate Messages and Photo apps to improve quality of texted videos
9to5Google discovered by tearing down the latest version of the Google Messages app (version 10.4 beta) that Android users may soon share videos by using the Google Photos app. Found on the beta is a new preference under the Google Photos heading for Settings that allows users to "share sharper clarity video in text (SMS/MMS)." This might be accomplished by sending the recipient of the video a link to view it over Google Photos instead of using MMS when in a conversation using Text/SMS.
Google looks to integrate Google Messages and Google Photos
Some photos might open up automatically in Google Messages rather than by taking users to the Google Photos app. Since Google has yet to officially unveil this feature, it isn't clear exactly how it would work. Something needs to be done though because video using MMS delivers poor quality images and usually only short clips can be shared using that platform.
This new feature surfaced in a teardown of the latest Google Messages beta
Google, as you probably know, has been working hard to convince all Android users to deploy Rich Communication Service (RCS) for messaging. Since RCS uses your phone's data connection instead of its cellular connection, it offers many features found on Apple's iMessages including the ability to send messages via Wi-Fi. Other changes found on RCS give you the ability to send more characters in a message, receive read receipts, enjoy end-to-end encryption, and more.
Sending video using RCS Chat already delivers fine-looking video. When a video is sent in "chat" instead of MMS, it gets uploaded to the cloud and the recipient quietly receives a link that automatically plays the video in Google Messages. RCS allows Android users to send messages as long as 8,000 characters instead of the 160 limit allowed with SMS. And it also permits Android users to share longer video files.
Since Apple's iMessages and RCS do not mesh, allowing videos to be viewed over the Google Photos app could allow iOS and Android users to send higher quality videos between the two operating systems. It also could be used to share video between Android phones that have RCS enabled and those that don't have RCS enabled.
You might recall that the four major carriers (which included Sprint at the time) were planning on teaming up to offer RCS on their Android phones via the "Cross Carrier Messaging Initiative (CCMI)." But this past April the CCMI was killed off. This didn't lessen Google's desire to keep working on RCS. One reason is because Google needs an Android messaging app that can compete with Apple's iMessage, and the second reason has to do with money.
Google ends Assistant's "Your News Update"
Google is still planning on using RCS as a business platform pushing ads out to Android users. If you have an Android device and want to use RCS, install the Google Messages app if it doesn't come pre-installed on the handset. Some carriers offer their own apps for texting such as Verizon. Keep in mind that these apps do not include RCS.
9to5Google also reported today that the feature which allowed Android users to tell Google Assistant to "play me the news" has been discontinued. Called "Your News Update," Assistant would play a "mix of short news stories chosen in that moment based on your interests, location, user history, and preferences, as well as the top news stories out there."
Currently, users can go to Google Assistant settings > News only offers the 'News briefing' option. Those who had used the no longer available "Your News Update" are getting a message that reads "Your News Update is no longer available, but you can still get the latest news from your favorite shows by adding them here."
Android users can choose their own news sources for personalized news briefings