The race to further develop satellite communications on smartphone is on – while some could say that Apple’s SOS calling feature kickstarted the trend, Google has long been working on its own take on the much-welcome emergency calling function, although a new development hints at an important upgrade.
More specifically, information shared on social media by Neil Rahmouni and subsequently reported on by Mishaal Rahman shows that Google Messages has added interfaces for conversations and SOS messages using satellite communication.
The Google Messages app is preparing to let you send an emergency SOS over a satellite connection!
Emergency SOS on iPhone has proven to be an incredibly helpful feature, even contributing to saving some lives in the recent Maui wildfire.
Although the emergency SOS activity in… https://t.co/bJkOYFZ3lS
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) August 17, 2023
Rahman adds that the feature is merely a placeholder at the moment, although it’s very likely that Google will launch the feature once Android 14 drops this year. He adds:
Google Messages is the default messaging app on many Android phones from different brands, so it needs to support this feature so that a separate messaging app won’t have to be built for phones that support satellite connectivity.
Satellite calling isn’t an entirely new technology however, as an increasing amount of manufacturers have been adopting the feature for use with smartphones. Earlier this year, companies like Motorola and Bullitt unveiled their own satellite-calling technology, which allows users to access SOS services on their devices.