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Hikers, Rejoice: Apple iOS 18 Will Let You Text When Off the Grid

Apple iOS 18 Will Let You Text When Off the Grid

Apple’s upcoming iOS 18 update is set to introduce a feature that will be particularly useful for adventurers who find themselves outside cellular coverage areas. This new functionality will allow users of iPhone 14 and later models to send messages via satellite, ensuring connectivity even when off the grid.

A Closer Look at iOS 18’s Satellite Messaging

The feature is designed to use satellites to facilitate basic messaging capabilities. In areas devoid of both cellular and Wi-Fi coverage, users can send texts, emojis, and utilize Tapback responses to communicate with others. This service is ideal for emergencies or simply staying in touch in remote locations. However, users should be aware of environmental factors such as heavy foliage and geographical obstructions that could affect connectivity. The service is intended for use in open areas with a clear view of the sky​​.

Setting Up Satellite Connectivity

To make use of this feature, your iPhone needs to be equipped with the latest version of iOS and must be one of the compatible models (iPhone 14 and newer). When attempting to connect to a satellite, it’s crucial to be outdoors with minimal obstructions. The process might require adjusting your position to maintain a clear line to the satellite, with onscreen instructions provided to aid in optimal positioning​.

Privacy and Usage Details

Apple ensures that all messages sent via the satellite service are encrypted for privacy. The technology is not just for emergencies; it can also be used for regular text messaging, although the connection might be slower compared to standard cellular services. This satellite feature is included free for two years with the activation of compatible iPhone models​.

Additional Features in iOS 18

Beyond satellite messaging, iOS 18 is packed with several other updates aimed at enhancing user experience. These include the ability to customize control centers, new text scheduling capabilities in the Messages app, and improvements to the Photos and Maps apps. Particularly for hikers, the updated Apple Maps will now include detailed topographic maps and the ability to create custom hiking routes​


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