Google's upcoming 'Satellite SOS' feature is reportedly on the way for Pixels

Hands-on with the Google Pixel 8 Pro
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich / Android Central)

What you need to know

  • A dive into the code of the Adaptive Connectivity Services app's latest update showed signs of Google's "Satellite SOS" feature for Pixels.
  • The feature will let users text and call emergency services with information on their location, medical information, and contacts.
  • The SOS feature's appearance once again teases a Google and Garmin partnership after first appearing in a Messages deep dive.

Google appears to be finally set to bring satellite-based emergency services to its Pixel lineup.

According to Google News on Telegram, update 2024.08 for the Adaptive Connectivity Services app brought in the necessary code for "Satellite SOS" functionality (via Android Authority). The feature's settings were said to describe how it works, alongside the chance to customize what information is shown to first responders before arrival.

What your personal information contains is said to help emergency services send the right people for you. The post adds users can expect to call and text emergency services if their mobile connection and Wi-Fi drop.

Users will have the ability to send them their location, as well as a list of their emergency contacts.

Additional descriptions about the Satellite SOS feature show Google intends for this to arrive on "your Pixel." Unfortunately, the feature's discovery in the code doesn't highlight which Pixel phones will receive this safety feature.

A tag, "SATELLITE_COMMUNICATION," was also discovered and seems to be regarding the permission users must grant the service before using it.

The final discovery pertains to an apparent partnership between Google and Garmin. The Satellite SOS feature was seen displaying links for users to purchase some Garmin Search & Rescue insurance.

Interestingly, this isn't the first we've seen signs of a potential partnership between Google and Garmin. In late August 2023, both companies were rumored to be working together to bring satellite-based SOS text messaging to Google Messages. Code during a deep dive showed a mention of "Garmin Response." It was theorized that such a collaboration would bring support to over 150 countries around the world.

The partnership was stated to offer access to Garmin's 24/7 emergency response coordination center potentially. For messages, the center was said to respond to them, track a user's device, and push continuous updates to them until help arrives.

What's more, Android 14 was already confirmed by a Google executive to land on devices with direct satellite connectivity support. At the time, the executive didn't say which devices would grab it, but we're now seeing at least Pixels are in the waiting room. Still, we're left waiting on even more specifics on which Pixel phones that will be.

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.