Satellite SOS is showing up on Pixel phones - how it can help you in an emergency

When a crisis arises, you'll be glad to have this feature that makes it possible to send messages when no carrier signal can be found.
Written by Jack Wallen, Contributing Writer
Google Pixel 8 Pro and Pixel 8 in hand
June Wan/ZDNET

Have you ever been in a situation where you needed to message someone but there was no carrier signal to be found? No matter where you stood or how high you climbed, there were no bars. Nothing. Had that been an emergency, what would you do?

Thanks to a new feature that has started rolling out to Pixel devices, such a situation could be handled without taking desperate measures.

Also: The best satellite phones

The feature is called Satellite SOS and has probably already arrived in your Pixel device but as an entry that doesn't do anything yet. This addition came along with the update to the Adaptive Connectivity Services app. If you go to Settings > Safety & Emergency, you'll find Satellite SOS under Emergency SOS. If you tap Satellite SOS, it takes you right back to Safety & Emergency. 

9to5Google used a rooted Pixel device and were able to access the Satellite SOS menu, which read: "With your Pixel, you can message with emergency services and share your location when you can't connect to a mobile or Wi-Fi network."

Also: I hiked with Garmin's 'unlimited battery' GPS tracker and it made life so much easier

Once Satellite SOS has officially rolled out, you'll be able to call or text emergency services, share your location via Google Maps, and even answer questions about your emergency. 

This new feature could be a reaction to Qualcomm shutting down the Snapdragon Satellite (that never launched) which would have provided a similar service. This happened in November of 2023, so the timing makes sense.

Mishaal Rahman (senior contributor to Android Central) also posted a few screenshots of the service on his X (formerly Twitter) account, the source of which came from this Telegram post.

Also: This $300 tiny satellite communicator impressed me during an off-grid adventure

There is no indication for which Pixel devices will be supported but you can be certain the latest (Pixel 8/8 Pro) will be on the list. There is also no information as to when the feature will fully roll out.

Editorial standards