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Android 14 will bring direct satellite support to smartphones
- Support for smartphone satellite connections will be in the next version of Android.
- Google has confirmed that this next version of Android will be Android 14.
T-Mobile and SpaceX aren’t the only companies thinking about phones and satellites these days. It appears Google is also getting in the game by adding support for smartphone to satellite connections in its next version of Android.
Hiroshi Lockheimer, Google’s senior vice president of platforms and ecosystems, tweeted something interesting today regarding where the tech giant was and what it’s doing now.
Wild to think about user experiences for phones that can connect to satellites. When we launched G1 in ’08 it was a stretch to get 3G + Wifi working. Now we’re designing for satellites. Cool! Excited to support our partners in enabling all of this in the next version of Android!— Hiroshi Lockheimer (@lockheimer) September 1, 2022
In the tweet, Lockheimer says, “we’re designing for satellites. Cool! Excited to support our partners in enabling all of this in the next version of Android!” According to 9To5Google, Google has confirmed that the next Android version Lockheimer mentions here is in fact Android 14.
At the moment, satellite connections are used for emergencies or act as a fill-in for dead zones where laying fiber for 5G or creating cell towers is a physical or financial challenge. However, giving satellites a bigger role in smartphone connectivity could be crucial in addressing the growing number of connections outside of big cities and covering devices on the move.
While satellites won’t bear the brunt of the connectivity load, T-Mobile has said that it plans to create a new network using its mid-band spectrum that will initially support SMS, MMS, and “participating” messaging apps during its beta phase beginning at the end of 2023.