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Google continues to prep satellite support on Pixel, including Maps location sharing

1 month ago 53

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Satellite connectivity still hasn’t really made its debut on Android yet, but it’s clear Google is making an effort with it on Pixel phones and, apparently, also in Google Maps.

Earlier this year, Google briefly rolled out a “Satellite SOS” option in the Safety app on Pixel phones which, with a bit of fiddling, also revealed some of the functionality Google is planning for satellite support on Pixel.

Google appears to still be working on that, and advancing the feature reasonably quickly too. Nail Sadykov on Telegram was able to spot a UI being worked on for Pixels which is meant to help guide the user to align their device with a satellite. The UI, as pictured below, can be minimized to a floating window and uses a circle to help the user align their device.

When “Satellite SOS” is in progress, a notification appears reminding the user to keep their view clear of obstructions.

Get a clear view of the sky by avoiding buildings, trees, and mountains.

Beyond that, PiunikaWeb notes that the latest beta version of Google Maps, v11.125, adds new strings which hint at future support for location sharing that uses satellite.

Exactly how satellite connectivity in Google Maps will be implemented is unclear, but one string suggests it will integrate with existing location sharing, allowing users to update their location up to five times per day, with each share being at least 15 minutes apart.

You can update your location once every 15 minutes, up to five times a day.

This could potentially be very useful for exploring in areas with minimal or no cellular coverage, as the satellite connection could share the location with friends or family and, in the case of an emergency, act as last-known whereabouts.

It’s unclear when Google Maps will debut satellite support, but Google is expected to start opening up this functionality with the Pixel 9 series, which is said to have better satellite support.

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