Android 14 may include satellite messaging

Android 14 may include satellite messaging

Google Messages May Soon Have Emergency Satellite Messaging Feature

Emergency SOS via Satellite

Emergency SOS via Satellite is a core feature of the iPhone 14, so it’s no wonder that Google would want to add this feature to Android. While Apple was the first to bring two-way emergency satellite messaging to the masses, it was only a matter of time before Google followed suit. After all, Apple’s emergency feature has been getting a lot of attention lately.

Code snippets uncovered by developer Neïl Rahmouni hint at the possibility of an emergency satellite messaging feature coming to Google Messages. Within the code, there are references to “Garmin” and “messaging by satellite.” While there is no official confirmation from either Google or Garmin, we may learn more about this feature during the Android 14 launch later this year.

Garmin already offers a range of satellite messaging devices, including the InReach Messenger and InReach Mini 2. These devices utilize Iridium’s constellation of 66 satellites and have proven to be reliable and effective during testing. However, adding satellite messaging capabilities to smartphones like Android devices poses some challenges.

At present, smartphones with built-in satellite antennas, such as the Cat S75, are limited. If Google intends to include this feature in Android 14, it is likely that mainstream manufacturers like Samsung and Motorola would add satellite support to their devices. One key consideration is the cost associated with satellite messaging.

Currently, Apple offers Emergency SOS by Satellite for free for two years after activating an iPhone 14 or iPhone 14 Pro. However, it remains unclear how much Apple will charge for this feature once the free period expires. Meanwhile, a Garmin inReach satellite subscription is not cheap. The basic consumer plan costs $14.95 per month, the minimum required to access the SOS messaging feature. It is unlikely that the average consumer would be willing to pay this price, so it is probable that, similar to Apple, Google would offer this feature for free to owners of new high-end Android handsets, with Google covering the costs.

Having emergency access to the satellite network can be life-saving, so the more devices that support this feature, the better. If Google does bring emergency satellite messaging to Android, it would be yet another positive development in the world of technology and communication.