During its latest APK Teardown of the Google Messages app for Android, 9to5Google encountered something interesting. A segment of the code states “Share sharper clarity video in text (SMS/MMS)”. They were even able to get the setting to appear in their app, and as you can see below, heading off that text is a “Google Photos” title.
It makes sense for video sent over text within Google’s own service to be sent well, via its own service. If this new setting indicates that Google Photos will, in fact, upload any sent videos directly to the user’s cloud and then allow the recipient to access it via a Google Photos link, then this would be fantastic, in my opinion.
It’s worth noting that APK Teardowns that reveal app code referring to new features or tweaks never automatically means that these will be released to the public, or at least not in their current form. Instead, Google works quite a bit behind the scenes within its APKs to test and experiment, but in some form or another, most of what is found ends up becoming usable and widely available.
The most important observation with this potential feature, as you can imagine, is that Google can control the quality of videos sent back and forth over RCS, even if one of the parties has poor reception. Google’s compression algorithms are next level, and consistency will far surpass the variety of options each service provider may offer.
Any time my other half sends videos from her iPhone to my Pixel 4, it comes through looking really bad. The visuals are covered in artifacts, and it looks like found footage from a horror game or from the 90s. It’s also much smaller and is encompassed in a thick black border. I know that iPhone users can’t use Google Messages, but should they offer Google Photos integration on that end one day somehow, I would welcome the unified approach to videos in my household! If Google offers this cloud sync option for videos sent over Google Chat, however, then I could possibly get my family to go that route for communication.