Google’s Pixel 9 may get an Apple-like satellite SOS feature

Google's Pixel 9 to feature an Apple-like satellite SOS via T-Mobile, possibly adding other providers.

: Google plans to introduce an Emergency SOS feature similar to Apple's on the upcoming Pixel 9 and Pixel Fold, in partnership with T-Mobile. The feature will ask users specific questions to ascertain the emergency situation, aiding in effective response. T-Mobile's satellite messaging collaboration with SpaceX could power this service, though costs remain uncertain.

Google is reportedly working on a new feature for its upcoming Pixel 9 and Pixel Fold smartphones that mirrors Apple's satellite Emergency SOS function, providing users with the ability to send emergency messages when out of traditional cellular range. This addition, suggested to be in partnership with T-Mobile, aims to enhance safety and connectivity for users by allowing them to communicate a variety of emergencies directly through satellite technology. This satellite SOS feature will prompt users with a series of questions to better understand their situation, ensuring that the help dispatched is appropriate for the circumstances at hand.

The collaboration between T-Mobile and Google hints at the use of a satellite messaging service previously announced by T-Mobile and SpaceX. Although the service was still under testing as of January and no pricing details have been released, it suggests an expanding ecosystem of satellite communications for consumer smartphones. This move by Google to include such a feature follows a similar path taken by Apple, potentially setting a new standard for safety features in mobile technology. However, the financial model for accessing this service—whether it will mirror Garmin’s subscription model or if Google will subsidize the cost—remains to be seen.

The integration of a satellite SOS feature into smartphones represents a significant step forward in leveraging space technology for everyday use, enhancing the safety and security of mobile phone users. This development not only underscores the growing partnership between tech companies and space technology providers but also highlights the expanding capabilities of smartphones to offer critical life-saving features. As Google explores collaborations with T-Mobile and potentially other providers, it sets the stage for broader availability and utility of satellite emergency services in the consumer tech market.