google announced at Google I/O in May 2023 that android 14 would support Ultra HDR format for photos and videos. This format, which was introduced in Android 14 Beta 2, supports 10-bit HDR images and is said to be fully compatible with standard JPEG images. This means that Ultra HDR images can be displayed on both non-HDR and HDR screens. On non-HDR screens, the images will be displayed in SDR, but on HDR screens, the colors and contrast will pop.
Google is now reportedly testing Ultra HDR support for Google Photos, according to AssembleDebug. The evidence for this comes from a new build code version, v188.8.131.521138754, that was spotted in Google Photos in late August. AssembleDebug found the code version with a few strings pointing at Ultra HDR support for Google Photos.
HDR, or high dynamic range, provides better image and video quality than SDR, or standard dynamic range, by displaying a wider range of colors and brightness.
Smartphones these days have all the latest features, including cameras and displays that support HDR standards. This is why it's great that UltraHDR is coming to Google Photos. UltraHDR will allow you to take full advantage of your phone's camera and display, and it will also retain the JPEG format, so your photos will still look great on older devices.
Apparently, Google is working with chip giants like Qualcomm to optimize their SoCs for UltraHDR. They are also making UltraHDR the default format for uploading, backing up, editing, sharing, and downloading photos in Google Photos.