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Messages app brings satellite support to new iPhones on iOS 18, plus new features

Keep connected with friends and family even without service.

Published onJune 10, 2024

  • Apple announced messaging via satellite for the Messages app.
  • Coming to iOS 18, the feature will allow users without service to communicate with others.
  • The feature also supports SMS.

Apple announced several new features for its Messages app on iOS 18, the chief of which is messaging via satellite.

At its WWDC 2024 keynote on Monday, Apple confirmed that users running an iPhone 14 or newer running iOS 18 can send messages over satellite if they’re without cell service or an internet connection. This occurs within the Messages app, making it more convenient and accessible than more cumbersome satellite messaging solutions. Apple also claimed that all messages are end-to-end encrypted.

With this announcement, Apple could beat Android out of the gate with satellite messaging support. There’s evidence that Android 15 may support satellite messaging, and T-Mobile users could be first in line, but we’ll have to wait for official word from Google regarding its plans.

Apple also announced that messaging via satellite will support SMS, so Apple users can readily send satellite messages to practically any device. With Dynamic Island on many phones, users will always know when they are connected to a satellite for these features to work properly.

apple wwdc 2024 messages app effects 2

For those not going off-grid, the company announced other additions to Messages. These include tapback updates, messaging scheduling, and animated text effects.

Beyond the Messages app, Apple also debuted Genmoji, allowing users to create their own emojis powered by Apple’s AI, Apple Intelligence. These unique reactions can then be used within messages.

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