Google Messages to Reportedly Let Users Text Anyone Using Satellite Messaging Feature


Google has been working on adding support for satellite messaging to its Messages app for some time now. A new report now sheds more light on how the feature might work and what it might offer. Google Messages with satellite connectivity will reportedly offer two-way communication, allowing people to interact with each other without the need for mobile networks or Internet connectivity. Last week, a report suggested that the tech giant has started rolling out a new beta version of the Google Messages app with the integration of its artificial intelligence (AI) chatbot Gemini.

Spotted by 9to5Google, details about the satellite messaging feature within Google Messages were found in the app's latest beta version 20240329_01_RC00. Strings of code with three different interpretations of the feature were seen by the publication. The first said, “To send and receive, be outside with a clear view of the sky,” and the second explained, “Satellite messages may take longer to send and may not include photos and video.”

But most interesting was the third explanatory string which said, “You can send messages to anyone, including emergency services.” The phrase is notable, as it suggests that users can text anyone in their contact list, as long as they also have the service enabled. This is a far cry from what Apple offers on the iPhone, where users can only share location through emergency services, roadside assistance and Find My. While users can share conversations with emergency responders with their emergency contacts, it does not allow users to communicate directly with other users.

The report notes that Google is able to offer two-way communication due to its partnership with GPS navigation giant Garmin, which already offers this functionality. It is unclear whether users will see this feature before Android 15 is officially introduced to the public. The next Android OS reportedly comes with an “Auto-connected to satellite” notification as well as a satellite icon in the status bar.

Google Messages is also working on improving its core functionalities. Recently, a report said that the messaging app is working on improvements to its image-sharing interface, specifically upgrading the functionality of sending multiple images taken by the in-app camera.

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