Based on a report, Apple was engaged in an exciting feature for the iPhone – probably set to launch with the iPhone 11 – however, it is only in reports about it now that the company has put the venture on hold.
In response to a report, citing individuals familiar with the project, Apple was engaged on a walkie-talkie-like feature. To not be confused with Walkie-Talkie on the Apple Watch, this might have allowed customers to send text messages to one another even in locations where there’s no cellular signal.
The characteristic instead would have worked over long-distance radio waves, and there could be limits on how far a message could possibly be transmitted, making it mostly like a text version of a walkie-talkie.
Supposedly often known as Project OGRS (for Off-Grid Radio Service), it is not completely clear why the feature is now apparently on hold. However, there are two distinct potential factors. For one, the executive Rubén Caballero possibly behind it, has left Apple.
For another, the feature would have apparently used Intel’s modems, however, Apple is about to switch back to Qualcomm’s modems from the subsequent year, and looking into the future will likely making its own modems.
It’s not clear if or when exactly development on the feature will resume (assuming this data is even right). However it would possibly make sense for Apple to now wait till it begins building its personal modems, to not have to tweak the tech two times over (first with the move to Qualcomm, and then to its own). In which case, we may very well be waiting at least a few years.