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Google Messages to add Satellite Communication feature for supported devices

Google Messages app will have the feature of satellite communication in future updates. Satellite communication is going to be a breakthrough in smartphone technology. With this technology, a user can communicate with the emergency service provider through the LEO satellites. This feature will be useful in remote places where cell networks are unavailable.

There are some OEMs that are already offering this unique feature including Apple’s iPhone 14 Series devices. On the Android side, Huawei offers this feature on the Huawei P60 series. Though Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 has support for Satellite connectivity, OEMs can’t implement this technology yet. Samsung’s own technology for satellite communication technology is still in development. This satellite communication technology is still in too early stage for many smartphone manufacturers to adopt it.

Image diagram of how the Satellite Communication works

But until the infrastructure is ready, developers of Android are working hard to get it ready for supported devices. Google has already added the satellite connectivity feature at the core of Android 14. This will help OEMs to implement this feature easily on their phones. To make it even easier, Google is working to add the satellite communication feature inside the Google Messages app.

This news was tipped by the netizen @neil_rahmouni on X (formerly Twitter). He spotted this feature in his Pixel 7 Pro Google Messages app. This is currently just a placeholder or graphical interface. It doesn’t have proper backend work. Also, Pixel 7 Pro doesn’t have proper hardware support for satellite communication. So it’s not possible in Pixel 7 Pro. But as Google added this interface, the feature should be coming soon.

the graphical interface of the satellite communication feature of Google Messages app
via @neil_rahmouni

This new satellite communication interface currently has text messaging support. Users can send a certain amount (currently mentioned as -1) of text to the emergency service. The service provider will also be able to send text messages back to the user to keep communicating.

This can be considered a work progress of Google of adding satellite connectivity on Pixel devices. Google previously said that they are planning on satellite communication feature. This addition to the Google Messages app may indicate the satellite communication feature in upcoming Pixel 8 series.

Another thing to note is that this can be a pixel exclusive Google Messages app feature. That means devices except Pixel that use the generic version of that app won’t include this feature. Currently it’s seems to be available to Pixel devices (Pixel 7 Pro as mentioned) only. But if Google make it a generic feature, a non-Pixel device with hardware support will be able to use satellite communication feature.

Mishaal Rahman
Neïl Rahmouni
We are on Google News! Androidstory publication on Google News

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