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Google to add satellite connectivity to Android 14 in 2023

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Satellite connectivity could be the next grandiose thing manufacturers are racing to bring into smartphones. With Apple anticipated to announce the iPhone 14 with direct satellite connectivity, Google is now suggesting that the same feature could come to the next version of Android—and could become available as early as 2023.

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TL;DR

  • Google confirms that direct satellite connectivity is coming to Android.
  • The feature could debut with Android 14 next year.
  • Samsung and other major Android OEMs to benefit from the new technology beyond Pixel smartphones.

The SVP of Android and Chrome platforms, Hiroshi Lockheimer, confirmed on a tweet that they are already developing Android to support direct satellite connections. Google is expected to unveil the next major mobile operating system or Android 14 at the next Google I/O event in the first half of next year, which could see the feature debut alongside.

It's unclear how this will be enabled on Android. But it would likely require additional components before the life-saving solution could work. In addition to the compatible hardware and software on user's end, supported satellite services are also needed to serve remote areas or dead zones where conventional cell sites are absent.

Apple's satellite solution

Apple is rumored to have partnered with Globalstar based on the report of MacRumors. It is mentioned that the service will be free for users at launch and will allow a two-way messaging form via the current satellite spectrum. Conversely, SpaceX and T-Mobile's satellite connectivity initiative will utilize a portion of 5G spectrum making the feature available to any cellular device.

While Google is scheduled to launch the Pixel 7 and Pixel 7 Pro next month, there's a slim chance that the feature will arrive. Regardless, not only would Pixel devices benefit from the technology but also other brands such as Samsung with the Galaxy S23, Xiaomi, or Oppo.

Do you think that satellite connectivity will be an important feature to consider when buying your next smartphone or smartwatch?

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