September 30, 2023

It looks like Google is replicating Apple’s emergency satellite call on Android

Developer Neil Rahmouni has noticed code in the Google Messages app indicating that Google may be working on an SOS feature in remote areas, which may include integration with Garmin’s response solution. that reports the edge.

Garmin response as a basis

According to reports, this would make it possible to contact emergency services from remote areas via SMS without the traditional mobile phone signal. Garmin Response should be used for this.

Garmin uses the Iridium satellite network. According to Iridium itself, it is capable of transmitting a signal “anywhere on Earth”. The downside is that Garmin Response costs $15 per month from Garmin and is billed as a subscription.

It is questionable whether Android users will find this much appealing. The rumored service is a similar solution to the one that Apple has been offering to iPhone 14 users for about a year.

Satellite SOS for Android: In all likelihood, there will be a fee

And this is also free for only two years. It is expected that Apple’s emergency calling functionality will be rechargeable in the future. It remains to be seen how many of the existing users will remain. The iPhone manufacturer has not announced pricing yet.

Rahmouni believes that Google’s service could be available in more than 150 countries because that would be commensurate with the reach of the Iridium network. Meanwhile, Apple’s satellite SOS service is “only” offered in 14 countries and not all locations that executive satellite provider Globalstar has access to.

Qualcomm introduces its own Snapdragon Satellite solution

Why Google should now independently provide satellite services for Android remains unclear at this time. However, Google confirmed its ambitions in September 2022.

After all, Qualcomm is also working on support for SOS messages via Iridium. Qualcomm calls its service the Snapdragon Satellite. The satellite also works with Garmin Response and will soon be supported on Honor, Motorola, Nothing, Oppo, Vivo and Xiaomi smartphones.

It seems plausible that Rahmouni’s discovery could only be a discovery of a user interface for Snapdragon satellite-equipped smartphones. However, Google itself is not entirely dependent on Qualcomm. In this sense, a separate solution is needed – for Samsung as well. We can get excited.