After working on photomoji, screen effects, custom background (still working on it) and voice moods, there is nothing stopping Google Messages team from working on new features and changes. Recently I shared about Google Messages bringing the message editing feature in the latest beta version. While editing messages was the biggest highlight of that update, I want to share some other changes that may make its way to Google Messages.

1. Camera Effects

As you all know, Google Messages added a camera icon on the homepage on top alongside the search button. But it usually  opens the default camera of your device. Google Messages also has a camera in the attachment dialog where you can quickly snap a pic for sharing.

Here is a fun fact - Google Message has a completely different inbuilt/in-app fullscreen camera which can be accessed by turning on certain flags using root. Google Message seems to be working on the camera effects features which may be available through this inbuilt camera. Here is what the inbuilt camera interface (without camera effects) currently looks like - 

I know it's barebone but Google keeps changing the UI of this camera screen, I have been noticing it since some weeks. So there is definitely something going on. The latest beta version of Google Messages introduced some strings which hints at the camera effects features -

<string name="camera_effect_toggle_hide_content_description">Tap to hide camera effects</string>
<string name="camera_effect_toggle_show_content_description">Tap to show camera effects</string>

There is more code inside the Google Messages app which refers to inapp camera effects -

• com/google/android/libraries/compose/cameragallery/ui/camera/inapp/effects/CameraEffectsManager$loadFilteredEffects$1
• CameraEffectsManager.kt

The strings hints towards a toggle for switching the camera effects on and off. I am not sure what kind of camera effects Messages team is working on but I can expect it to show up in upcoming beta versions. 

2. Removing top contacts

Google Messages may remove the top contacts which you see when you press the search icon in the Google Messages. Usually Google Messages shows some recent contacts with whom you are having a conversation with. A flag named - bugle.remove_top_contacts is added in latest beta version. I managed to activate the flag and the top contacts list disappeared completely. 

3. Removing draft message preview from home screen

If you type some text in the message compose box and go back to a different conversation or close the app, the text get saved as draft. When you open Google Messages again, it shows up in the homescreen of Google Messages indicating that you have a draft message in this conversation. But Google may remove this functionality, as a new flag named - bugle.remove_draft_preview_in_homescreen is added in the recent beta. Just like the previous flag, I enabled it and Google Messages no longer showed the draft preview. I have a draft message in the second screenshot in the RCS International group chat, but it's not showing up like the first screenshot.

4. A separate Usage & Diagnostics opt-out screen

Google already have a "Help improve messages" section in settings. But with some more new features like device pairing and profiles which depends on your linked Google account, Google felt the need to provide users with an option of opting-in/out of usage & diagnostics information which is specifically collected from the Google account with which a user signed-in in Google Messages. This setting will be available in Google Messages Settings > Advanced > Usage & Diagnostics. If you have root, you can enable it with the flag - bugle_phenotype__enable_logging_consent_settings_screen.

I am not sure which of the changes will be permanent in case of removing top contacts and removing draft preview. But I am sure about the camera effects feature .

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