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Google Messages could bring satellite texting to 150+ countries at launch

Garmin could provide satellite-based emergency response services for users of Google Messages.

Published onAugust 28, 2023

Google Messages SMS stock photo 9
Edgar Cervantes / Android Authority
  • Evidence has emerged that satellite-based SOS texting on Google Messages may launch in partnership with Garmin.
  • Garmin provides emergency response services via satellite in over 150 countries.
  • It’s still unclear when the feature will go live on Google Messages.

More evidence has emerged about satellite-based texting features coming to Google Messages. According to strings of code found within the latest version of the app, Google might be partnering with Garmin to bring emergency SOS via satellite to Android phones.

Last week, X (Twitter) user Neïl Rahmouni discovered some UI placeholders suggesting that satellite messaging support is coming to Google Messages. Rahmouni is also the one who found evidence of Garmin’s possible involvement in the service. The fitness company already has multiple satellite communication products, so it would make sense for Google to partner with it and take advantage of its established infrastructure, including emergency response centers for rescue coordination.

Looks like Google Messages may use Garmin Response for the Satellite Emergency SOS
If true it could mean that Emergency Satellite messages would be available in 150+ countries👀
(1st screen is a mockup, 2nd are the translations found in Google Messages)
— Neïl Rahmouni 🐢 (@neil_rahmouni) August 28, 2023

According to the company’s website, Garmin’s emergency SOS via satellite services are available in over 150 countries across all seven continents. This could give Google Messages a vital edge over Apple’s competing satellite communication service, which is only available in a handful of countries right now.

That said, Rahmouni correctly advises against jumping the gun and unquestioningly believing the news of a Google Messages-Garmin tie-up. Everything is subject to change until the satellite texting service kicks off on Messages. And while Google has confirmed satellite communication will be possible with Android 14, we still don’t know when and where it’ll become available or which phones will support it.

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