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Google Messages app could be about to look a whole lot more like Snapchat

Google has been testing Snapchat-style photo and video filters for its Android Messages app… and they actually look really good.

The filters include balloons, fireworks, confetti, an angel and a plane window that shrinks as the plane zooms off into the distance. The latter is probably the most unique of the camera effects we’ve seen so far and there isn’t exactly a large pool to choose from but if Google does decide to take a leaf out of Snapchat’s book, we can expect more filters to come to Messages in the future.

The effects were first spotted by the folks at XDA Developers. Here’s a video that shows them in action:

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Google’s filters do look impressively accurate  the balloon filter in particular looks almost realistic, with Google placing balloons both in front of and behind the face rather than just pasting them on top of the image.

The benefit of using these effects over those found in Snapchat and Instagram is that the built-in feature eliminates the need to look outside of your main messaging app to send fun, customised selfies to your pals.

Android users will no longer need to switch between messaging apps depending on what type of media they wish to send. Although if your handset doesn’t support RCS (Rich Communications Services), you may be stuck sending your videos through MMS for the time being.

Google has been testing a handful of new features in Android Messages over the past couple of weeks, including RCS messaging. The company has begun rolling out the new messaging service as a replacement for its SMS/MMS messaging app in an attempt to better compete with Apple’s iMessage.

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Though RCS doesn’t enjoy the same end-to-end encryption that iMessage and WhatsApp do, the messaging service allows users to share higher quality photos, see when their contacts are typing and send and receive read receipts. It isn’t clear if or indeed when Google will begin to roll out the filters for messages.

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