A life-saving iPhone feature could come to Google's next flagship phone when it's unveiled later this year

Apple iPhone satellite locator
(Image credit: Apple)

When Apple announced the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro in 2022 it also announced a new feature that would go on to save lives. Emergency SOS via Satellite is now also available on the iPhone 15 and iPhone 15 Pro, and now a new report claims that a similar feature is coming to Google's next flagship phone as well.

According to the report, Google's upcoming Pixel 9 and Pixel 9 phones will add support for satellite connectivity similar to Apple's, with text messaging supported. Like Apple's implementation, the new Pixels will not support satellite calling, however.

The system, which is thought to be based on SpaceX technologies, will reportedly allow Pixel 9 and Pixel 9 Pro owners to use satellite connectivity to summon help when they need it, potentially helping to save even more lives in the future.

Satellite safety

According to an Android Authority report, citing a source, the new Pixel phones will sport a modem that supports satellite connectivity while the same part is also expected to be included in the next-gen Pixel Fold and an unknown 5G tablet.

Android Authority was also able to report that an Emergency SOS feature will be provided by a special Satellite Gateway app which will see users asked a series of questions to ascertain their needs.

"First, you will be asked a few basic questions, to narrow down the situation," the report explains. "You will also be given a choice to notify your emergency contacts, after which you will be able to message with emergency services to get the help you need. Many of the questions will also have predefined answers to choose from to make the process quicker."

None of this is likely to be available soon, though. The new Pixel phones aren't expected to be announced until later this year, most likely in or around October — weeks after the iPhone 16 and iPhone 16 Pro are expected to go on sale.

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Oliver Haslam

Oliver Haslam has written about Apple and the wider technology business for more than a decade with bylines on How-To Geek, PC Mag, iDownloadBlog, and many more. He has also been published in print for Macworld, including cover stories. At iMore, Oliver is involved in daily news coverage and, not being short of opinions, has been known to 'explain' those thoughts in more detail, too. Having grown up using PCs and spending far too much money on graphics card and flashy RAM, Oliver switched to the Mac with a G5 iMac and hasn't looked back. Since then he's seen the growth of the smartphone world, backed by iPhone, and new product categories come and go. Current expertise includes iOS, macOS, streaming services, and pretty much anything that has a battery or plugs into a wall. Oliver also covers mobile gaming for iMore, with Apple Arcade a particular focus. He's been gaming since the Atari 2600 days and still struggles to comprehend the fact he can play console quality titles on his pocket computer.

  • Wotchered
    Don't care what Google does !