Android's satellite SOS UI might look like this, a leak spills beans

The mint colorway of the Google Pixel 8
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Digging through Android's code seemingly unearthed Google's work at implementing a new satellite SOS UI.
  • The UI will guide users through a setup process as they must align their phones with a satellite to begin communicating with emergency services.
  • Google is preparing to bring satellite connectivity capabilities with Android 15 and with its upcoming Tensor G4 chip for the Pixel 9.

Some digging into Google's code seems to have unearthed an alleged first look at how users will get its Android satellite connectivity to work.

According to Google News on Telegram, users will have to keep their phones in line with satellites floating in low orbit (via GSMArena). During setup, the code shows that users will be prompted to "get a clear view of the sky" by avoiding obstructions like buildings, trees, and mountains. 

Once done, users will be given a UI page with a large circle in its center. Its purpose is to aid users in locating a satellite in their vicinity. A stronger connection will be obtained by ensuring you're facing the satellite straight on, meaning it's in the center of the radius.

The post adds that users can minimize this SOS page when connected to continue texting emergency services or family members. Android will turn the page into a floating display on a device's homepage, similar to a widget. If minimized, users will continue to ensure the satellite is properly aligned with their phone.

Google News states the new SOS UI was spotted in Android's Adaptive Connectivity Services app. Currently, it's not a page users can access, as it's still in the works.

We've known for a while that Google is preparing to bring satellite connectivity via Android 15, and the software's second developer preview shared more. The preview highlighted the company's continued work at implementing such connectivity for the next major OS launch later this year. Apps in Android 15 will have the ability to state whether or not a user is connected to a satellite.

Additionally, Google is adding support for SMS/MMS and RCS chats when connected to a satellite.

More importantly, it was spotted yesterday (Apr. 15) that Google's upcoming Tensor G4 chip for the Pixel 9 will utilize a new Samsung modem. The modem was stated to support 5G non-terrestrial networks (NTN) for satellite connectivity capabilities with the new flagship series.

Android 15 recently achieved its first beta milestone, meaning we're right on schedule regarding Google's timeframe for its launch, likely this fall.

Nickolas Diaz
News Writer

Nickolas is always excited about tech and getting his hands on it. Writing for him can vary from delivering the latest tech story to scribbling in his journal. When Nickolas isn't hitting a story, he's often grinding away at a game or chilling with a book in his hand.