Qualcomm To Bring Satellite SOS Feature to Android Users
The iPhone 14's standout feature when it was released by Apple last fall was a satellite-based communication service for emergency calls outside the range of cellular networks. Recently, Qualcomm announced their plans to add a comparable feature to several advanced Android phones.
In some regions, starting in the second half of this year, premium Android handsets running Qualcomm's Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 Mobile Platform will be able to connect to a satellite-based two-way messaging system.
Snapdragon Satellite from Qualcomm is the Android community's response to Apple's Emergency SOS feature. iPhone 14 users who go outside the usual wireless network range can send their whereabouts if they get lost using a network of satellites and ground relay stations Apple helps fund.
Users are instructed to point their phones at a satellite so that it can transfer information to a ground station and the emergency services. However, freshly purchased iPhones come with a complimentary two-year subscription to Emergency SOS. Whether consumers will have to pay for Snapdragon Satellite is unclear. Last summer, T-Mobile unveiled a comparable Starlink function that supported SMS, MMS, and compatible messaging apps.
Currently available models with Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 include the Xiaomi 13 series, Moto X40, and Vivo X90 Pro+, while more are on the way from Asus, OnePlus, and Sony. Qualcomm hasn't revealed precisely which phones would first receive Snapdragon Satellite.