HomeWinBuzzer NewsApple Expands iPhone Capabilities with Satellite Messaging in iOS 18

Apple Expands iPhone Capabilities with Satellite Messaging in iOS 18

One of the new iPhone features in iOS 18 is the ability to message via satellite, with Apple adding an Emergency SOS tool.

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With the introduction of iOS 18, has unveiled a new functionality allowing users to send messages via satellite. This builds on the Emergency SOS via satellite, expanding it to include standard text messaging without needing Wi-Fi or cellular service. This feature applies to iPhone 14 and later devices, which previously supported only emergency satellite communications.

Functionality and User Interface

The satellite messaging feature encompasses all standard iMessage functionalities, such as sending emojis and using Tapbacks, and retains end-to-end encryption for security. Users must align their devices with satellites, guided by on-screen prompts. This addition is aimed at maintaining connectivity, especially for users in remote areas with no other communication options.

Apple hasn't specified the pricing for this new service yet but hints at future charges for satellite services. Currently, iPhone 14 users benefit from Emergency SOS via satellite for three years for free, with iPhone 15 models offering two years of free access. This hints at a potential subscription-based model for sustaining the service, offering an essential communication tool in remote or emergency situations.

Public Reaction and Use Cases

The introduction has sparked considerable interest, particularly from users frequently in low-connectivity areas. While some have expressed concerns over potential costs, many praise the added security and convenience. This service will likely be especially appealing to outdoor adventurers and those in remote environments, as it provides a crucial communication method when network service is out of reach.

Apple's emergency satellite feature has already proven valuable, particularly for users in vehicle breakdowns or other emergencies without a signal. When there's no signal, users receive prompts to connect to a satellite to send their messages. Despite the new feature allowing text message sending, images cannot be sent due to higher data requirements.

Privacy and Security Aspects

For users, end-to-end encryption guarantees privacy. However, this encryption can introduce extra data overhead, potentially affecting the bandwidth of satellite connections. Apple assures that this privacy mechanism will remain unchanged for iMessage users. On the other hand, SMS messages, which lack end-to-end encryption, will be sent over a less secure line from earth to space.

Details on the availability of the new satellite messaging feature remain sparse. Apple has not clarified whether it will be limited to specific devices or subscription plans or if there will be any related costs. Until further information is released, it seems the feature will be freely accessible for sending text messages without any major restrictions.

SourceApple
Luke Jones
Luke Jones
Luke has been writing about all things tech for more than five years. He is following Microsoft closely to bring you the latest news about Windows, Office, Azure, Skype, HoloLens and all the rest of their products.

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