The alleged satellite functions for future iPhones are only reserved for emergencies, according to Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman. A few days ago, a report by well-known analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that the next iPhones with support for satellite calls and messages will arrive in lower earth orbit. However, Gurman’s sources said Apple isn’t turning its devices into true satellite phones, at least for now. Instead, the tech giant is reportedly developing at least two emergency functions based on satellite networks.
The first function is called Emergency Message via Satellite and is added to the Messages app as a third protocol alongside iMessage and SMS. Apparently codenamed Stewie within the company, it allows users to send emergency calls even when there is no signal, which sounds especially useful in emergencies in remote locations like mountains and forests.
The tool also gives users the ability to send an SMS to their emergency contacts by simply entering Emergency SOS in the recipient line. Messages are limited to a shorter length, but the sender’s contacts will receive notification for them even if their phone is set to Do Not Disturb. Satellite messages are displayed as gray bubbles instead of blue or green so they can be easily identified. Finally, the function could also handle phone calls.
Apple is also reportedly working on a second satellite feature that will allow users to report crisis situations like plane crashes and fires. This system allows users to report the incident in detail and asks them for details, e.g. B. whether someone needs search and rescue services or whether someone is armed nearby. It can also automatically send the reporter’s location and details from the health app to authorities, such as their medical history, age, medication, and information such as height and weight. The feature can also notify the reporter’s emergency contacts for them.
While both functions sound useful, their availability is limited by satellite location and range. In some regions, they may not work, and in some cases, users may need to go outside in a specific direction for their iPhone to connect to a satellite. Gurman’s sources also said the features are unlikely to be ready before the end of the year, which means the next iPhones, which are slated to be announced in September, won’t be able to send news via satellite just yet.
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