Apple Reportedly Shelves 'Walkie-Talkie' Feature Allowing iPhone-to-iPhone Messaging Without Wi-Fi or Cellular

Apple has shelved a "walkie-talkie" feature that would have allowed iPhone users to communicate with each other in areas without cellular coverage, such as while skiing or hiking, according to The Information.


The report claims Apple was working with Intel on the project, which supposedly would have enabled ‌iPhone‌ users to send messages directly to other ‌iPhone‌ users over long-distance radio waves that bypass cellular networks, adding that the technology was designed to run over the 900 MHz radio spectrum.

This feature is not to be confused with the Apple Watch's Walkie-Talkie feature, which relies on Wi-Fi or a cellular connection.

The project is said to have been suspended in part because the Apple executive heading it, Rubén Caballero, left the company earlier this year. The technology also relied on Intel modems, according to the report, and Apple is expected to start using Qualcomm modems in iPhones again starting in 2020.

The technology could still show up in future iPhones, but development of the feature appears to be on hold for now.

Top Rated Comments

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15 weeks ago
Totally would have used this on vacation. Some of the areas my family was in lacked cell service but communication at a short distance would have been super helpful (car pickup, delay in movement, moving of supplies, etc).
Rating: 42 Votes
15 weeks ago
Bummer, that would be an awesome feature. I'm sure there's a lot of FCC spectrum and power regulations that hold something like this up too.
Rating: 30 Votes
15 weeks ago
This is too bad. I could also see this being useful as a "just in case" feature, such as in natural disasters where cell networks are often offline.
Rating: 28 Votes
15 weeks ago
That's annoying. Lately it seems the innovation news coming out of Apple is the death of innovative projects. :/
Rating: 27 Votes
15 weeks ago
This would’ve been great. Hopefully they implement this feature in the near future.
Rating: 21 Votes
15 weeks ago

The technology also relied on Intel modems


Say no more..
Rating: 15 Votes
15 weeks ago
This would've been great. I remember on our old Nextel phones we used to be able to Direct Connect even when we had no service, up to two or three miles if I recall. Only some phones supported it, so we always bought those ones. Forget what they branded that feature as.

Anyway, especially in America where cell coverage isn't available everywhere, I think this would be a great feature.
Rating: 14 Votes
15 weeks ago

I mean.. the Apple Watch version alone is weird AF. Why would anyone want this.


$200 packages from AT&T to use your phone on a week long cruise comes to mind...
Rating: 9 Votes
15 weeks ago
One guy leaves the company and Apple shelves the project. I knew that TC was cheap, but dang!
Rating: 9 Votes
15 weeks ago

I mean.. the Apple Watch version alone is weird AF. Why would anyone want this.

You didn't read the article, clearly.
Rating: 6 Votes

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