When Apple introduced a satellite-powered emergency texting feature with the iPhone 14 series, everyone lauded it. Samsung is also rumored to bring the satellite SMS feature with the Galaxy S23 series. Well, at CES 2023, Qualcomm announced that its Snapdragon Satellite feature will bring an emergency SMS feature to Android smartphones.
In an official blog, Qualcomm announced that it is partnering with firms Iridium and Garmin to introduce the Snapdragon Satellite. This will use the phone’s GPS and satellite communication to enable two-way texting in rural areas or regions where cell coverage is lacking. Qualcomm also said that the satellite emergency SMS feature will be available on select Android devices, powered by the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset.
Reportedly, Samsung will partner with the same Iridium Communications to bring a satellite communication feature to its Galaxy S23 series. The feature will use the powerful Snapdragon X70 modem and connect to the Iridium satellite system, but it requires activation from the OEMs’ and service providers’ end for the functionality to work.
Qualcomm’s Snapdragon Satellite can allow you to send messages, but there’s a catch
Qualcomm demonstrated the Snapdragon satellite emergency SMS technology, showing how you can send and receive SMS messages with your contacts, as well as alert the emergency services in places with no cell coverage. Just like the iPhone 14’s Emergency SOS feature, you have to be in a place with a clear sky and align your phone towards the satellite. After the connection is successfully established, you will be able to send and receive SMS. Users will be able to send 160-character customized messages to a preset list of contacts to avoid congestion. This is different from Apple’s implementation, where you are restricted from typing out your own messages and selecting the contacts.
Qualcomm said that devices released with Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 SoCs in the first half won’t bring this feature onboard as they lack the necessary hardware. However, devices sold in the 2022 H2 will have it. So, it is possible that Samsung has worked on a similar feature of its own, independently of Qualcomm.