Google Pixel phones may soon get Satellite SOS for emergencies

Google’s commitment to bringing satellite support to Android 14, as promised back in 2022, has not been forgotten. The company’s recent moves indicate that a critical emergency SOS feature leveraging this satellite connectivity may be on its way to Pixel phones.

In a recent update to Google’s “Adaptive Connectivity Services” app (version p.2024.08), the Google News channel on Telegram spotted references to a “Satellite SOS” feature, designed to send emergency messages using satellites when cellular and WiFi networks were not available. This feature will reportedly be enabled through the operating system’s Settings menu, under the “Safety and emergency” section. Within that section, you will be able to find a new Satellite SOS page that offers a clear explanation of how the feature will work. There is even an option to try a demo or to test it in real mode.

Google’s “Satellite SOS” settings as hidden in the code of the “Adaptive Connectivity Services” app on a Pixel | Source: Google News (Telegram)

Users will also have the ability to customize their emergency contacts and set up automatic alerts in case of an emergency. Also of note is the privacy disclaimer, which states that your name, email, phone number, location, emergency contacts, and device information will be shared with both emergency services and satellite service providers if Satellite SOS is used.There is also a section where a partnership with Garmin is revealed, possibly for search and rescue and global emergency response coverage. Garmin’s network covers over 150 countries across all continents, which is a good sign that support may be global.

However, as this feature is not yet available nor has it been officially announced, at this time there is no way of knowing if it’ll be released first as a Pixel-exclusive. Hiroshi Lockheimer, SVP at Google, confirmed that this was in the works for Android 14, but judging by the impactful nature of launching a new feature like this, Google may just save this announcement for the next. Google I/O or Made by Google event.

Like Apple’s current implementation, this new feature is expected to provide users with a reliable means of communication in emergency situations, especially in remote areas where traditional networks may be unavailable. Users will likely appreciate the added peace of mind that comes with having access to satellite-based emergency messaging capabilities.

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