Google is testing augmented reality filters similar to the kind found on Snapchat with its own messaging app, Android Messages. The test was discovered with five different filter options, including one that adds balloons to images and videos, another that adds glitter, and more. The AR filters aren’t available to all users at this time, but hint at future plans Google has for the messaging app.
The Snapchat-like filters found in Android Messages were revealed by XDA Developers, which reports that a total of five filters are present in the app at this time.
They are: floating balloons, confetti/glitter, an angel halo added above the user’s head, a fireworks effect that appears in the background, and a plane effect that shows the user in an airplane window.
As demonstrated in the video below, these filters are found within the camera viewfinder and work in a way similar to pulling up filters on Snapchat. Effects are located in a dedicated tab and can be applied only to pictures that are taken with the camera from within the Android Messages app. The same effects aren’t available in the phone’s regular camera app.
The AR effects are fairly simple at this time, but would likely be joined by more complex offerings in the future. This big benefit here is that these filters are directly accessible within the messaging app itself, meaning there’s no need to take the picture in a different app, then toggle back to Messages to send it. It’s unclear when users will see the filters arrive.