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A visitor tries out a Pixel 3 smartphone in the Google Hardware Store in the Soho neighborhood of New York on its grand opening day, Thursday, October 18, 2018. The store displays a variety of products from Google such as Google Home appliances and the new Pixel 3 smartphones and provides experiential shopping for customers. (ÂPhoto by Richard B. Levine)

Android Messages may get Snapchat-like AR effects

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Apparently, Google has plans to turn the Android Messages app into a veritable Instagram and Snapchat rival. XDA Developers has discovered that the tech giant is testing augmented reality effects with pretty impressive elements within its messaging app — the publication even managed to activate the feature to test it out. The experimental Effects button lives inside Android Messages’ camera, right beside the Photo and Video buttons.

It looks like Google is testing five effects at the moment, including one that shows your face through the window of a cartoon airplane before it flies away.

The balloon effect puts flying balloons in front of and behind you, while another puts a fireworks display right in your living room. There’s also a confetti effect and an angel filter that gives you a halo and a pair of wings. The halo can follow your head around, just like Snapchat’s face filters.

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