Google SVP confirms that Android 14 will support satellite communication
Last week, SpaceX announced that it would bring satellite connectivity to smartphones in collaboration with T-Mobile. Following this, Google announced that it would support satellite connectivity in the upcoming version of Android 14 and help partners enable the technology.
The news comes from Google’s Vice President of Platforms and Ecosystems Hiroshi Lockheimer, recalling how grueling it was to get 3G + Wi-Fi working on the first HTC Dream Android phone, also known as the T-Mobile G1.
However, it should be noted that satellite connectivity on phones will not offer high-speed Internet, but will instead work to eliminate areas where there is no cellular connectivity and help in emergency situations.
T-Mobile said it will initially support text messages, MMS, and select messaging apps. The company went on to say that in the long term, they would also consider supporting data and voice. The network operator hopes to start the initial beta sometime in late 2023. And while existing Android phones and devices will be supported, the inclusion of OS-level support would be very helpful.
That said, well-known Apple analyst Ming Chi-Kuo has also suggested that Apple is working with Globalstar to bring satellite connectivity to the iPhone 14 series. But unless the tech giant manages to get legal permission in India, it would have to disable the function.