Here’s How iOS 18’s Messages via Satellite Feature Works

Here’s How iOS 18’s Messages via Satellite Feature Works

Apple debuted iOS 18 on Monday, and there are several exciting new and improved features on the way for iPhone users when iOS 18 is released to the public in September. One of the new features expands Apple’s satellite connectivity features. Messages via Satellite enables users to send and receive iMessage as well as SMS texts via satellite when the device is out of range of WiFi or cellular networks.

Messages via satellite requires an ‌iPhone 14‌ and later.

CNET offered an early look at how Messages via Satellite works, with the assistance of Kurt Knight, Apple’s senior director of platform product marketing.

Meanwhile, iJustine also took a look at the new messaging feature.

When your iPhone 14 or newer iPhone is out of the range of cellular and WiFi networks, a pop-up alert will appear, offering access to all of Apple’s satellite services, including Find My, Roadside Assistance, Emergency SOS, and now iMessage.

Messages via Satellite can be accessed from the iOS 18 Messages app just like other messages. iOS 18 will assist you in pointing your iPhone in the direction of an available satellite. Then, you can carry on a text conversation just like you normally do. Your messages can include Tapbacks and emoji and all of the conversations are end-to-end encrypted, as usual.

Apple will place limitations on SMS messages, due to all of the “spam” sent via SMS. While your emergency contacts and designated family members will be able to contact you via SMS at any time, other contacts and those not on your contact list will require you to message them first. They will then be able to respond to your messages for a set time period.

Apple is adding Rich Communication Services (RCS) support to iMessage later this year. However, RCS will not immediately be compatible with RCS, as it hasn’t yet been optimized for satellite connections.

Initially, Apple’s Messages via Satellite will only be available in the United States, expanding later to other countries and regions. Apple’s satellite services are available on iPhone 14 and newer iPhone models.