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Android Central
Android Central
Brady Snyder

Android 15's satellite messaging is already showing up for some T-Mobile users

Android 15 logo on Pixel 8.

What you need to know

  • People who both upgraded to the Android 15 beta and have an eligible T-Mobile plan are now seeing a page in settings for satellite messaging. 
  • This isn’t the first time we’ve seen this menu for satellite messaging, but it’s the first time it has actually appeared in working form for users. 
  • Previous reports revealed that T-Mobile and Starlink were partnering to support satellite messaging on 15 Android devices. 

So far, the biggest Android 15 feature revealed to date is likely satellite messaging. There have been countless leaks and rumors regarding the feature, which still hasn’t been officially confirmed by Google, even after its I/O 2024 developer conference. However, the closest thing we’ve gotten to an official confirmation just happened — people running the Android 15 beta on a device with T-Mobile cellular service are now being informed about satellite messaging, as Android Authority reported.

A few T-Mobile users took to Reddit to share the new settings menu that appeared on their Android 15 device. It’s called Satellite Messaging, and it can be accessed by navigating through Settings > Network & Internet > SIMs > T-Mobile on devices running Android 15 Beta 2. Though some have managed to force show the Satellite Messaging menu in previous versions of Android 15, the settings page is only starting to appear by default in Android 15 Beta 2

Here’s what the Satellite Messaging page will look like in Android 15, as shared by u/erichola on Reddit:

Satellite messaging option appeared on my Pixel 7. from r/tmobile

Under the About satellite messaging section, there’s a sentence explaining how and if T-Mobile customers can take advantage of satellite messaging in Android 15. “You can send and receive text messages by satellite as part of an eligible T-Mobile account,“ it reads. While we don’t know what T-Mobile plans are supported right now, we do know that the user in question has T-Mobile’s Magenta plan. As such, we can assume that Magenta users will likely be able to use Android 15 satellite messaging without paying extra.

Notably, there don’t seem to be any restrictions on when and how satellite messaging can be used on Android 15. Many satellite-based features launched in the past are specifically designed to be used in an emergency. Satellite messaging on Android 15 is unique in that it appears to work anytime Wi-Fi and cellular are unavailable, and not limited to those dire situations.

T-Mobile already announced a partnership with Starlink, and plans to launch text messaging by satellite at some point this year. This is probably the reason why the carrier is the first to appear in the Android 15 settings app. Other carriers may appear in the future, and AT&T is already working on a satellite messaging strategy of its own. As Android Authority surmised, the Android 15 settings menu for satellite messaging doesn’t look like it is unique or exclusive to T-Mobile.

The presence of satellite messaging in the settings menu all but confirms it is coming in Android 15. However, users likely won’t be able to actually use it until their carrier rolls out support for satellite messaging. 

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