Android satellite communications may be coming soon

Android satellite message settings

Mishaal Rahman / Android Authority

long story short

  • The latest beta version of Google Messages references Android satellite messaging.
  • Based on our observations, the system appears to mimic Apple’s SOS feature.
  • Based on previous leaks and research, we expect this feature to launch in Android 15.

In 2022, Apple announced the launch of an iPhone service called “SOS Emergency”. Using satellite messaging, the system allows iPhone 14/15 users to connect to satellites to contact emergency services. Since its launch, we’ve all wondered when Android would launch its own similar service. Today, in an APK teardown of the latest beta version of Google Messages, we saw signs that this might be about to happen.

one APK teardown Help predict future features that may appear on the service based on ongoing code. However, such predicted functionality may not be publicly released.

In the latest Google Messages 20240318_00_RC00 beta, we discovered a string that directly references satellite messaging in emergency situations:

<string name="end_of_emergency_help_needed">I still need help. I ended satellite messaging.</string>

<string name="end_of_emergency_help_not_needed">"I don't need help. I ended satellite messaging."</string>

Elsewhere we see other, simpler string references to “urgent” and “urgent demo”. The former represents possible ways to initiate an emergency, and the latter may reference a demonstration of the feature so that users can become familiar with it before an actual emergency occurs.

From these strings, we assume that the user initiates an emergency in a message and then communicates with emergency responders. These strings can reference canned responses for when a person can no longer respond adequately but still needs to notify emergency service providers of an ongoing situation.

Before, Android Authority Posted a reference to satellite messaging in the Android 14 QPR3 Beta 2 build. This includes the Satellite Messaging page in Android Settings. We speculated at the time that this would be a feature in Android 15, and this new information only bolsters that idea.

We reached out to Google for comment but did not receive an immediate response. We will update the article if we receive a reply.

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