A standard dynamic range image at left compared with an Ultra HDR (Image credit : Android Authority)
A glaring omission from last week’s Google I/O developer conference was an Android 14 preview. However, Google did reveal a function known as Ultra HDR. Compatible apps will be able to display images with a wider range of colors and brightness on Android smartphones running Android 14. And because premium Android phones already have the necessary hardware to handle Ultra HDR, if you update your phone to the most recent Android build in August, you’ll get this new feature.
Brighter, more realistic, more colorful Ultra HDR photos
The Google Photos app will enable Ultra HDR, according to Forbes. Although third-party app developers will have to make their own decisions regarding whether to support the technology, most well-known apps are likely to do so because Adobe is making it simple for them to do so. The way the technique operates is by adding a Gain Map—an additional layer of data—to a regular JPEG image.
According to Adobe, whose patent explains how to create Gain Maps and how to store them in a standard jpeg file, “Images optimized for High Dynamic Range (HDR) displays have brighter highlights and more detailed shadows, resulting in an increased sense of realism and a greater impact.” According to Adobe, there is a problem because these photos can appear differently on different devices.
Because Ultra HDR is backward compatible, apps that don’t support it will still be able to display the image in SDR. The image from Google that is embedded in this post demonstrates the difference. A SDR image can be seen on the left, while the brighter, more colorful Ultra HDR image can be seen on the right. In the Android Developers Blog, Google informs app developers that “the framework automatically renders these images in the UI in HDR when your app opts into using HDR UI for its Activity Window.”
Ultra HDR will soon be rolling out to those Beta testing Android 14
While Google’s Ultra HDR announcement only applies to jpeg photographs, Apple is free to use the same technology on the HEIC format used by the iPhone. Android 14 Beta testers will soon start receiving Ultra HDR.
The recent release of Android 14 Beta 2 has been a big step forward after the unstable Android 14 Beta program, but we anticipate that the Beta program will enter platform stability next month. This indicates that both internal and external APIs as well as app-facing behavior have been completed. When it comes to platform stability, the majority of developers are focusing on “compatibility testing and quality.”
Nevertheless, you shouldn’t put the Android 14 Beta on your primary vehicle. With your Pixel 4a (5G) or later, visit the Android Beta website at google.com/android/beta or tap on this link if you must get an early start. When you arrive at the Beta Programme website, select the rectangle labelled “View your eligible devices.” A picture of your Pixel model will then appear, along with an opt-in button. Tap it, then adhere to the instructions.
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After a short while, update your phone by going to Settings > System > System update. Remember that you can’t leave the Beta programme early without erasing your device’s data. For a brief period after installing Android 14 on your Pixel, you’ll be able to leave the Beta programme without incurring any fees. And make a backup of your data before downloading any beta software.