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Slowly but steadily, Google is turning its Messages app into a viable contender for the messenger market. As Google rolls out RCS to more and more countries, the app's chat features become more prominent, like photo attachments or stickers you'd usually have to send via MMS. As such, Google has decided to test an "attach recent picture" button in the latest beta version, but it's of questionable value at best.
The button only shows up above the text entry box when you've recently taken a picture. For me, it disappeared about at least five minutes after hitting the shutter in my camera app, and your mileage may vary. When you tap it, it'll open up the regular image sharing interface, which you can also access via the dedicated image/camera button to the left of the text entry box. That makes the new prompt pretty superfluous — the only reason I could think of for having it there is that the regular access to picture attachments disappears automatically once you start typing, so you can still add an image easily once you've finished writing.
Tapping the "attach recent photo" toast (left) opens the image sharing gallery (right).
Duo video call prompt
— Matthew (@LinkofHyrule89) May 9, 2020
It looks like the photo attachment prompt isn't the only actionable chip Google has added to Messages recently. @LinkofHyrule89 showed us another one that automatically surfaces as a "Start video call" button when you mention Google Duo in a text. I couldn't reproduce the prompt myself, so it's probably rolling out as a server-side update or is locked to some regions only.