You Can Send Texts via Satellite in iOS 18

With iOS 18, Apple is expanding the Emergency SOS via satellite feature to introduce Messages via satellite, a feature that will let you send texts even when you don't have a Wi-Fi or cellular connection.

messages via satellite
Available on the iPhone 14 or later, you can send and receive iMessages or SMS messages using a satellite connection. The feature works with all iMessage features such as emoji and Tapbacks, plus with iMessage, conversations are end-to-end encrypted.

Messages via satellite will work on the ‌iPhone 14‌ and later, aka the same devices that support Emergency SOS via satellite. Apple did not specify whether there will be a cost for Messages via satellite, but Emergency SOS via satellite is still free for all ‌iPhone 14‌ users for a total of three years.

Apple has said it eventually plans to charge for satellite services, but no pricing has been unveiled. The iPhone 15 models also came with two free years of satellite access.

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Top Rated Comments

segers909 Avatar
1 week ago
This was the single most exciting announcement at WWDC for me.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
alexandr Avatar
1 week ago
This is awesome! This will make me feel a lot better about hiking in serviceless places.
Score: 10 Votes (Like | Disagree)
loopy123 Avatar
1 week ago

Finally.. calling when?
Also isn’t t-mobile going to enable that for many more phones eventually as well?
That just isn't possible without support for satellite technology built into the phone itself.

Apples announcement is a game changer - I would guess Garmin stock just dropped as it instantly makes a lot of Garmin devices irrelevant.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KENPHOTO Avatar
1 week ago

This was a good surprise to hear from the event. I was considering getting a Garmin Sat device for camping and hiking, but I'll hold off until I hear more about this.
I have an iPhone 15 Pro and I just bought a Garmin Inreach Mini 2 last week. I purposely went somewhere to test it to see how it compared to the emergency SOS satellite on the iPhone. I found a really bad flaw in the Apple Satellite feature. Where I was, my iPhone said I had one bar of signal, but the signal was so weak, I was not able to make any calls or send any iMessages/SMS. I tried to send my location via satellite (to test the satellite without actually setting off an emergency) and the iPhone said that satellite was not available because I had cellular signal (even thought the cellular signal was too weak to use). The Garmin worked with no issue. Worth the money for me for the Garmin, but the Apple satellite is good to have as a back up solution, I would not rely on it. Had that been a real emergency I would have been screwed if not for the Garmin.
Score: 5 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Macusercom Avatar
1 week ago
Smart move: introduce a feature for free, make it even more useful and then charge for it. Satellite communication is very expensive so of course Apple won't just eat the cost.

I can even see then getting you make an emergency SMS and charge you afterwards
Score: 4 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Baywatchboy Avatar
1 week ago
This was a good surprise to hear from the event. I was considering getting a Garmin Sat device for camping and hiking, but I'll hold off until I hear more about this.
Score: 3 Votes (Like | Disagree)