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Satellite Phone Messaging on Android Hits a Roadblock

With the release of the iPhone 14, Apple elevated smartphone satellite connectivity to a major position. The iPhone 14 and iPhone 15 series can connect to a low-orbit satellite in an emergency in supported regions and send an SOS message even if the phone is not receiving a mobile signal. Naturally, Android flagships didn’t want to fall behind, which is why the Snapdragon Satellite was created. However, it appears that the cooperation behind Snapdragon Satellite has ended, so we Android enthusiasts will have to wait a little while longer.

Qualcomm has stopped working with Iridium, the company that connects to satellites, on the Snapdragon Satellite feature. This was supposed to allow Android phones to send messages using satellites. But smartphone companies did not add this to their phones. So Qualcomm decided to stop working with Iridium.

Iridium can now work with other companies like Samsung, Google, and chip makers to add satellite messaging to Android phones. Qualcomm will also work with groups to make satellite messaging standards that everyone can use.

This means satellite texting on Android probably won’t happen in 2023 like planned. But the door is open for 2024 phones from companies that work with satellite networks. Qualcomm ending the deal also lets other options be explored.

Overall, while we have to wait longer, satellite connectivity could still come to Android next year through new partnerships. Let’s hope our favorite Android devices get this useful feature to match iPhone emergency abilities out in the field without cell service.

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