Apple Expands Satellite Messaging Capabilities With iOS 18


With iOS 18 Apple now has four features that use its satellite service:

Messages via satellite,

Emergency SOS via satellite,

Location via satellite (through Find My) and

Roadside Assistance via satellite.

No hurry, iOS 18 stable release not until September

On June 10, Apple announced that the iOS 18 public beta, which should be slightly more refined, is set to roll out some time in July. The stable release of iOS 18, however, is not expected to debut until September.

John from PA

Apple Expands Satellite Messaging Capabilities With iOS 18

Great point. I will continue to follow this. When the stable release of iOS 18 becomes available, I will consider buying a used Apple iPhone 14 that has a physical SIM card slot. So, that probably means an eBay seller in Canada.

However, SpaceX said T-Mobile's direct-to-cell service is launching commercially this fall, too. I have time to think about this. Maybe I will add a T-Mobile SIM to my current smartphone or maybe I will buy a second hand Apple iPhone.

Then we have AST partnering with AT&T and Verizon, so maybe they will be a bit closer by fall, too.

Can’t Wait

Looking forward to trying this.

Usage Fees?

I haven't seen anything yet on whether there will be fees associated with satellite usage.

I'm frequently in areas with no cellular coverage. If there are no unreasonable charges, I will consider getting a newer Apple smartphone and cancelling my Garmin Inreach subscription.

Free "at least for now"

"Message via satellite is a free feature, at least for now. Apple currently includes Emergency SOS via satellite free for two years. Beyond that, Apple hasn't shared how much it will cost or if there will actually ever be a charge to access the feature. Messages via satellite will be available this fall with iOS 18 and will roll out initially in the US before expanding to more countries. 'With just a software update, we're going be able to make this broadly available to tons of people overnight,' remarked [Kurt] Knight[, Apple's senior director of platform product marketing]."

quote from:

Looks like ~2020+ iPhone models will be able to run iOS 18, so yeah, a lot of iPhones out there would need an upgrade to get this enhanced satellite feature.

"141 could draw faster than he, but Irving was looking for 143..."

another remote area communication possibility

"Colorado helicopter company testing new tech used for search & rescue"

I presume that this is a lightly modified

A Starlink remote phone offering is coming

Starlink has launched the first few satellites which are dedicated not to their "UFO on stick" regular Internet service but rather to working directly with regular cellphones.

This will always be a much lower-speed service than 5G from a nearby tower, but should be nearly universally available geographically--at least if you step outside. While the initial trials are being conducted with T-Mobile in the USA, I don't think the eventual commercial arrangements and offerings have been announced yet.

As the service uses 4G LTE communication, it should physically be able to work with the great majority of phone models in current service.

Come to think of it, my geographical limitless comment won't apply in the extreme North and South unless they give some of these birds very high inclination orbits. They have already done that for regular Starlink--remains to be seen for this offering.

personal GPS user since 1992