Google Messages Prepares for Satellite Messaging

An examination of the Google Messages source code shows that a satellite messaging system is on the way for the software.

In 2022, Apple added Emergency SOS via Satellite as a satellite communication system to the iPhone. This feature, which relies on satellites in low-Earth orbit, allows iPhone 14 and iPhone 15 users to stay connected to emergency services in areas with weak network coverage.

Since the release of Emergency SOS via Satellite for iPhone, Android users have been waiting for a similar feature on their phones. According to a report by Android Authority, the source code of the latest beta version of Google Messages (the default messaging app for Android) shows that the unveiling of Android’s satellite communication capability is very close.

Android Authority found direct references to a “satellite messaging” system in the Google Messages source code. Apparently, this feature is intended to be used in emergencies, just like on the iPhone, i.e. when there is no network connection and it is not possible to notify emergency services of an incident in the traditional way.

The Android satellite communication system is supposed to work on the Messages platform; in this mode, the user enters Messages and contacts emergency services. It is possible that the feature in question will offer the user a number of default options so that they do not have to type sentences.

Previously, there were also references to satellite communication capability in the second beta of QPR3 of the Android 14 operating system. At that time, it was said that a new page called Satellite Messaging would be added to the Android settings. The feature in question is likely to arrive in Android 15.

Additional information:

  • The Android satellite communication system is expected to be based on the Snapdragon Satellite technology, which was announced by Qualcomm in February 2023.
  • The Snapdragon Satellite technology will use Iridium’s satellite constellation to provide global coverage.
  • The Android satellite communication system is likely to be a paid service, similar to Apple’s Emergency SOS via Satellite.
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