Android 14 will come with satellite connectivity, Hiroshi Lockheimer has revealed

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Android 14 will support satellite connectivity, according to Hiroshi Lockheimer, Google’s senior vice president of platforms and ecosystems. He has confirmed that the company is ‘designing for satellites’ and supports its partners to bring this feature to the next version of Android. The revelation comes nearly a week after T-Mobile and SpaceX announced their plans to eliminate dead zones around the world with Starlink V2. It will connect users directly to satellites and eliminate the need for cellphone towers. Similarly, a recent report suggests that Apple already has satellite connectivity working on the iPhone 14.

Lockheimer points out that the user experience for a smartphone that connects directly to a satellite will be very different from regular cellular connectivity. Nothing else was revealed by him except that this feature will be enabled in Android 14.

In related news, SpaceX and T-Mobile have partnered to bring satellite connectivity to phones in the US. The telecom operator plans to deploy thousands of Starlink satellites to provide wireless connectivity to mobile users in remote areas of the country. The service may offer text message support until late 2023. Voice and data services are expected to follow later.

Elon Musk also tweeted that Starlink V2 service will be launched in 2023 with plans to “eliminate dead zones around the world”. He gave an open invitation to other carriers to work with Starlink.

Apple is also keen to offer satellite connectivity on the upcoming iPhone 14 series. According to a recent report, the Cupertino company had already completed hardware testing for satellite communication on the iPhone 14 before the smartphone reached the mass production stage. Analyst Ming-Chi Kuo is uncertain about the feature’s availability on the iPhone 14 as Apple would have to contract with satellite operators. If it’s included, satellite connectivity on the iPhone 14 series will only provide emergency text and voice services.

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