Following up on Ming-Chi Kuo’s report on the iPhone 13’s upcoming satellite features, Bloomberg has confirmed the news that the upcoming iPhone models will include the necessary hardware to communicate with low-earth-orbit satellites although the software would most likely disable those features initially.
These features for satellite communications can be very helpful in emergency situations where there’s no cellular service such as camping out. Users would be able to send urgent text messages and/or make emergency calls without the need for a cellular connection.
As a matter of fact, Apple has been researching satellite connectivity all the way back in 2019. Apple is developing two major features for satellite connectivity, according to Bloomberg.
First, the Messages app will include emergency satellite messaging, where users could send such messages to first responders and emergency contacts, and those would appear as gray speech bubbles. Secondly, Apple will support emergency phone calls more suited for reporting major emergencies such as plane crashes and sinking ships.
Just like with cellular features, satellite features will vary by region, and the user would have to go outside and wait for a minute in order to connect to a satellite.
As previously mentioned, Bloomberg stressed that those features might not be ready by the end of this year. Remember that Apple had actually disabled the hardware on the iPhone 12 that’s capable of reverse wireless charging. But that feature seems to be enabled exclusively to the MagSafe Battery Case.
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