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The iPhone satellite support rumoured by Apple might be for emergency calls and messaging

As per the Bloomberg’s Mark Gurman, the reported satellite capabilities for future iPhones are solely for emergency use. According to rumors published a few days ago by a popular analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, the future iPhones would feature Low Earth Orbit satellite messaging and calls. However, according to Gurman’s sources, Apple isn’t converting its devices into true satellite phones, at least at this time being. Rather, the tech behemoth is said to be working on at least 2 emergency-related capabilities that rely on satellite networks.

Satellite’s initial feature, Emergency Message, will be integrated into the Messages application as the third protocol complementing iMessage and SMS. It’s apparently dubbed Stewie inside the firm, and it’ll allow consumers to message emergency services when there’s no coverage, that seems especially useful in remote regions like mountains and forests.

Users will also be able to SMS their emergency contacts by simply putting Emergency SOS in the receiver line of the tool. Messages will be limited in length, but even if the sender’s phone is configured to Do Not Disturb, their contacts will receive a notification. Satellite messages will display as gray bubbles rather than blue or green to make them easier to spot. In the future, the feature may be able to manage phone calls as well.

Apple is reportedly working on a second satellite feature that will let consumers report emergency occurrences such as plane disasters and fires, according to sources. This system will present users with issues such as whether somebody needs search-and-rescue assistance or if anyone in the neighbourhood is armed, allowing them to report the incident in detail. It can also provide authorities with details from the Health app, such as the reporter’s location and medical records, age, medicines, and height and weight. It’s also possible to send a notification to a reporter’s emergency contacts using this tool.

While both features appear to be beneficial, satellite placement and attain limit their availability. Some areas may not be served, and iPhone users may be needed to travel outside in a defined way to connect to a satellite. The capabilities are also unlikely to be functional before the close of the year, as per Gurman’s sources, which means that the latest iPhones, which are expected to be introduced in September, will not be able to send messages via satellite.