How Messages via Satellite will work on iOS 18 and how much it will cost

iPhone's iOS 18 will support satellite messaging, rolling out in the fall. Initially free for 3 years, pricing details are pending.

: iOS 18 on iPhone 14 and newer models will support satellite messaging beyond emergency uses. Users can send iMessages and SMS without cellular or Wi-Fi. Apple offers three years of free service, with pricing details to be announced later.

iOS 18 will extend satellite messaging capabilities beyond emergency uses, enabling iPhone 14 and newer users to send iMessages and SMS when outside cellular or Wi-Fi coverage. The feature is accessible via Dynamic Island, Settings, or Control Center, guiding users to connect with overhead satellites when needed.

Users can initiate satellite conversations from the Messages app, with visual cues provided to find and maintain satellite connections. SMS and iMessage are supported, although only the latter is end-to-end encrypted, and read receipts are not available over satellite.

Apple's provision currently grants three years of free satellite service from the purchase date of a new iPhone, though the implementation details are somewhat ambiguous. The cost of the satellite service post-trial period remains undisclosed, and further information is expected closer to iOS 18's release in the fall.