Android is not ready to sit back and let Apple take all the laurels, as the next version is confirmed to support satellite connectivity. The update was shared by Hiroshi Lockheimer, SVP – Platforms and Ecosystems at Google. He also mentioned that Google will have partners on board to bring satellite connectivity to Android 14, which is coming next year.
He did not share if the feature support will be software-enabled, which if it does, can possibly allow Google push upgrade the software for Android 13 and bring satellite connectivity on the older version as well.
This feature will allow people to send emergency texts or even calls in areas without a network.
Wild to think about user experiences for phones that can connect to satellites. When we launched G1 in ’08 it was a stretch to get 3G + Wifi working. Now we’re designing for satellites. Cool! Excited to support our partners in enabling all of this in the next version of Android!
— Hiroshi Lockheimer (@lockheimer) September 1, 2022
Apple is reportedly bringing the technology to the iPhone 14 series this year, but Google sharing this update right now seems like a clear move to suggest that it got the better of the Cupertino-based tech giant. Satellite connectivity is gaining prominence, with the likes of SpaceX setting up their networks in space.
Many expect the feature to initially support the regular SMS service and voice calls, allowing the firms to price these plans nominally. But gradually, you are expected to be served internet connectivity as well, which could push the price levels of the technology, at least until it is available to a wider audience.
We are eager to see how smartphones can adapt to the technology and what benefits they can gain out of an advanced feature like this. Having said that, satellite connectivity is likely to be limited to select countries, with many having reservations about allowing satellite networks to operate and made available to consumers.
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