🌞 Good morning, dear readers. I woke up today to read what I can easily say is the millionth article with a headline that starts with “Netizens say…” Is it safe to say I don’t give a flying duck about what these so-called “Netizens” think or say? Most of it is garbage anyways. On another note, here’s some real tech news, with a pinch of fun fluff at the end.
Satellite connectivity on Android phones gets a boost
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
It was a busy Thursday evening with a number of announcements coming out of CES 2023. One of the most important ones was from Qualcomm regarding its new Snapdragon Satellite tech. It’s essentially Qualcomm’s version of Apple’s Emergency SOS. But it’s better, and it’s going to democratize satellite connectivity on premium Android phones.
- Snapdragon Satellite is a solution based on the Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 chip and its integrated X70 modem.
- It will enable two-way satellite-based messaging on high-end Android phones.
- The solution is not only meant for emergencies but also for when you’re traveling in remote areas with weak or no cellular connectivity.
- Qualcomm says it has partnered with Iridium to take advantage of its 66 low-orbit satellites spread across the globe.
- You’ll need an open sky view to establish a satellite connection, which means the tech won’t work indoors or in highly obstructed areas.
- Once connected, Snapdragon Satellite-enabled Android phones will be able to send and receive messages without a cellular network.
- In comparison, Apple’s Emergency SOS service only enables one-way communication for iPhone users that find themselves in emergency situations.
Snapdragon Satellite availability
- According to Qualcomm, phones with Snapdragon Satellite will be available starting in the second half of 2023.
- Not all Snapdragon 8 Gen 2 phones will be capable of satellite communication. The service won’t be available as a software upgrade.
- Phone makers will need to build devices with the tech in place to be able to take advantage of satellite messaging.
- Satellite connectivity will only be offered to capable devices in North America and Europe.
- Qualcomm may eventually roll out voice and video support, but that would require additional satellite power.
Motorola could beat rivals to the punch
Ryan Haines / Android Authority
- Qualcomm wasn’t the only company to announce a satellite connectivity solution for Android phones.
- Bullitt Group, the makers of CAT phones, also announced a similar two-way messaging service.
- It will arrive first on an upcoming Motorola rugged phone.
- An upcoming CAT phone will also offer the feature, as well as intelligent switching between satellite and cellular connectivity via a Mediatek chip.
- It makes sense to build satellite connectivity into rugged devices since these are mostly used by people who have to work or travel in remote locations.
- Bullitt Satellite Connect launches in Q1 2023 and will allow users to send and receive text messages, send SOS requests, and share their location via satellite.
- You’ll need to use Bullitt’s proprietary, free Bullitt Satellite Messenger app in order to take advantage of the service.
- Bullitt Satellite Connect subscription plans will start from $4.99 a month.
- SOS assistance functionality will be available as a 12-month trial.
For today’s Friday Fun, I want you to watch this trailer for Renfield. Starring Nicolas Cage and Nicholas Hoult, the movie promises a campy comedic take on Count Dracula’s (Cage) relationship with his fanatically obsessed minion Renfield (Hoult). I quite enjoyed this one. I hope you do too.