When Apple first launched the Emergency SOS via Satellite service last year, it received a lot of genuine praise. It's a feature which has the potential to save many lives, with a few stories already making headlines in the first few weeks of it being available.
The service is currently available to anyone with a current generation iPhone – that's the iPhone 14, the iPhone 14 Plus, the iPhone 14 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro Max – located in one of the six countries currently supported. Those are the USA, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland and the UK, with support for more countries set to roll-out in due course. It's also free for the first two years.
Of course, it was never going to be long before Android phones got in on the act. Qualcomm have just announced their own satellite SOS platform at CES 2023, which should see similar functionality come to handsets equipped with the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chipset in the near future.
But that chip is still reserved for flagship handsets – the Samsung Galaxy S23, the OnePlus 11 and the Vivo X90 Pro+, for example – meaning you'll need to shell out for a premium handset to enjoy the benefits. That's about to change though.
A UK-based company called Bullitt has also just unveiled its own satellite messaging service, called Bullitt Satellite Connect. The service works in much the same way as others, with users able send messages via a satellite when they have a clear view of the sky. The service is free for the first year, with affordable plans available thereafter. The cost is all deducted from the subscribers plan, with no cost to the recipient.
The first phone to feature this technology will be the new Motorola Defy model. Designed to withstand just about anything you can throw at it, the Defy is the ultimate phone for explorers and anyone spending lots of time in the wilderness. What's more, the current model has an RRP of just £249, putting this life saving technology in the hands of anyone.
The service should be available in the first quarter of 2023.