The new Android update brings an option that Apple has had for months

While it is true that our smartphones have more smart features than telephones (cameras, music, data processing and even AI), the basis of all this lies in their ability to make calls, to communicate. And if we do not have access to the antennas, many of their functions are complicated, if not canceled. The arrival of the iPhone 14 made it possible to circumvent this obstacle thanks to the satellite connection and the Emergency SOS option: if we have an emergency, the device can connect to a satellite network and send a message. And that's what Android wants.

Along with the iPhone 14, the only phone that currently offers the satellite option is the Huawei Mate 60 Pro, thanks to its connection to the Tiangong satellite, but it is not an Android mobile. This could change with the arrival of Android 15. Both the iPhone and the Huawei mobile use special telephone antenna hardware to establish a direct connection with low earth orbit satellites (LEO for its acronym in English). This allows them to send text messages to emergency services even without antenna connectivity.

Obviously, this feature has been very well received, but Google (read Android) had to solve some problems. Hope was pinned on the Snapdragon Satellite program, but Qualcomm closed it, citing the fact that the Manufacturers were interested in “standards-based solutions” for satellite-to-phone connectivity and were not tempted by the idea of ​​relying on proprietary solutions that could cost them a lot (time and money) in terms of licenses and hardware.

The solution would come from the hand of the partnership that T-Mobile and SpaceX have established and that would allow access to satellites in emergency cases. The satellites have already been launched and only need a clear sky to communicate with phones. But what phones need is an update.

According to a recently published article, the latest beta version of Android 14 would have a Satellite Messaging option in the settings. This describes how you “can send and receive text messages via satellite.” He also points out that The phone will “automatically connect to a satellite” when you do not have an antenna connection.

Once the device is in “satellite mode”, apparently You can “text anyone,” not just emergency services. When you are back within range of a mobile network, your phone will disconnect from the satellite and reconnect to cellular. Of course, it is made clear that this service would only be available “in some areas” and requires satellite messages to be added to your account (that is, to the mobile contract).

However, Google has yet to publicly announce exactly how it plans to support satellite connectivity on Android. Last month, the company made a strategic investment in AST SpaceMobile, another LEO satellite provider, so it is possible that the Android satellite messaging is compatible with other satellite providers and not only with Starlink. We will have to wait for the arrival of Android 15 to confirm it.