iPhone-like emergency SOS feature coming to Android soon as Qualcomm unveils tech

iPhone satellite connectivity feature is coming to Android soon.

Highlights
  • Qualcomm introduced its Snapdragon Satellite at CES 2023. 
  • This feature will use the phone’s GPS and satellite communication to enable two-way texting, similar to iPhone 14 series’ emergency satellite connectivity.
  • The Snapdragon Satellite emergency SOS feature will also be available on select Android devices powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC.

Today, at CES 2023, Qualcomm introduced its Snapdragon Satellite — a two-way satellite messaging service — and said it’ll be available on “next-generation premium Android smartphones.” Last year, Apple launched its emergency satellite connectivity with its iPhone 14 series and everyone exalted it, so much so that it made it to the list of our favorite tech for 2022. Qualcomm wants to throw its hat in the ring and bring this technology to the Android smartphone realm.

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Qualcomm announced on its official blog that it has collaborated with Iridium and Garmin to launch the Snapdragon Satellite. This feature will use the phone’s GPS and satellite communication to enable two-way texting in rural or remote locations. According to Qualcomm, the Snapdragon Satellite emergency SOS feature will also be available on select Android devices powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen2 SoC.

Qualcomm Snapdragon Satellite technology

Snapdragon Satellite

Qualcomm showcased the Snapdragon satellite emergency SMS technology, demonstrating how you can send and receive SMS messages with your contacts while also alerting emergency services in areas where cell service is unavailable. For this to work, you must be in a location with a clear sky and align your phone towards the satellite, just like the iPhone 14’s Emergency SOS feature.

Once the connection gets established successfully, you can send and receive SMS messages. You can send 160-character customised messages to a preset list of contacts. Qualcomm stated that devices with Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoC released in the first half would not have this feature because they lack the necessary hardware. Devices sold in the 2022 H2, however, will have it.