Apple shelves iPhone ‘Walkie-Talkie’ feature for offline messaging
Apple was reportedly working on a ‘Walkie-Talkie’- a feature that would have allowed iPhone users to send iMessage in areas without cellular connectivity or nearby Wi-Fi networks.
Apparently, Apple has shelved the ‘Walkie-Talkie’ feature for the time being, according to a new report from The Information citing sources familiar with the matter.
For those unaware, there is a Walkie-Talkie feature available on Apple Watch that allows users to get in touch with each other at the touch of a button. However, this feature is different compared to the rumored one on iPhone, as the Walkie-Talkie feature on Apple Watch relies on either Wi-Fi or a cellular connection.
Apple was said to be working with Intel on the project codenamed Project OGRS, which is pronounced “ogres” but likely stands for Off-Grid Radio Service.
The feature was designed to use Intel cellular modems. It intended to utilize long-distance radio waves devised to run over the 900MHz spectrum that would have allowed users to send messages directly to other iPhone users over long-distance radio waves in areas without cellular coverage. Such a feature could have been useful for users in remote locations while hiking, skiing, camping.
So, why did Apple scrap the project? According to one of the sources for the report, the project probably has been primarily shelved due to the exit of Ruben Caballero, the executive leading the project, from the company earlier this year. Also, part reason could be due to Apple switching to Qualcomm modems for the next few iPhone models.
Although Apple’s iPhone Walkie-Talkie feature currently has hit a roadblock, there’s still a good chance that the tech giant could revisit the interesting feature at a later date on its future models.