Users will be able to send messages via satellite in iOS 18

in iOS

Apple is bringing more functionality to satellite-based features of the iPhone, with iOS 18 bringing the option to send messages to other users.

Smartphone displaying a satellite-based iMessage conversation, featuring messages about travel plans, packing, and expressing excitement using various emojis.
Messages via Satellite in iOS 18

The introduction of Emergency SOS via Satellite provided users with a way to get assistance when they're out of cellular and Wi-Fi range. During WWDC 2024, Apple teased an expansion to the concept tht's on the way.

As part of iOS 18 and as the name explains, Messages via Satellite will let users send messages using a satellite. If there's no cellular service and no Internet via Wi-Fi available, Messages will let users instead ping the message from a satellite.

Just like Emergency SOS via Satellite, users will be prompted to point their iPhone at the nearest satellite, in order to send and receive texts. All communications are end-to-end encrypted, complete with support for emoji and Tapbacks.

The feature is part of the iOS 18 update, and therefore is scheduled for the fall. However, Apple hasn't said whether it will be available at that time.

It will, however, only be supported by the iPhone 14 and later models.

Read on AppleInsider


  • Reply 1 of 5
    40domi40domi Posts: 138member
    Brilliant option in an emergency, the only question I have is, will it be a U.S. only feature?
  • Reply 2 of 5
    40domi said:
    Brilliant option in an emergency, the only question I have is, will it be a U.S. only feature?

    The feature will exist for any country/region that can be convinced to allow it before the new phones are released.  Seems pointless to announce that sort of thing before it can even be used at all.
  • Reply 3 of 5
    Might be how they make us iPhone 14 users pony up for satellite service after our 2 year emergency freebie. Bundle it with messaging…
  • Reply 4 of 5
    kdupuis77kdupuis77 Posts: 120member
    40domi said:
    Brilliant option in an emergency, the only question I have is, will it be a U.S. only feature?
    As others mentioned, it will have to be allowed by each country so they can be added to the list (So yeah, never coming to Chine or North Korea I imagine lol). Also, I can tell you that the current satellite communications features work great from within the US, but they would not work for me out to sea (I work on cargo ships) until quite close to the coast of a country in which this feature is presently supported. I know it's a very specific usage case, but I did buy a Zoleo Iridium communicator off Amazon (and tested it on a cruise and a camping trip recently) and it works great if you do anything farther offshore than a casual boat ride haha.

    Boy, the day when I can walk out on deck, in the middle of the ocean, whip out my folding iPhone 28 and shoot off a few texts with the missus will be quite a nice feature in the back pocket for when our satcomms go down onboard.
  • Reply 5 of 5
    Anybody else think this is being added so that employers will always have a leash on employees?

    It just seems like yet another thing that will enshittify our lives.
Sign In or Register to comment.