Google Messages tests a familiar photo preview screen

After revamping the in-app camera, Google Messages is testing a photo preview screen on Android.

After taking a picture using the inline camera that’s part of the media gallery, you’re taken to a new attachment screen instead of the image immediately appearing in the compose box (where you can tap to expand). You get a fullscreen preview of the shot with the ability to “Write a message…”

This intermediary screen is very similar to the approach in WhatsApp and other messaging apps. Besides letting you preview the image before sending, it’s useful if you need to refer to the picture as you’re writing.

There’s “Send” in the bottom-right corner, as well as “Add more” to take you back to the conversation and manually attach more.

Old vs. new (2-3)

This is only appearing on some of our devices running the latest Google Messages beta (version 20240318_01_RC00 and newer). Curiously, the preview screen only appears when you use the inline camera. Opening the fullscreen viewfinder and taking a picture reverts to the previous behavior. Meanwhile, it also does not work with images from your gallery.

Given the recent activity around images, it seems that more than a few people take pictures inside Google Messages (versus just attaching images).

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