comscore Apple walkie talkie feature for iPhone reportedly shelved

Apple kills its project to turn iPhone into a ‘walkie talkie’

Apple iPhone would then be able to create an “ad-hoc network” to directly communicate with each other. The report also clarified that Apple was working with Intel to create this technology.

  • Published: August 27, 2019 7:27 PM IST
Apple iPhone smartphone

Cellular communication has been the primary use-case for smartphones in the market. Everything else is really an add on to the basic functionality that one expects from a smartphone. However, the problem here is the presence of a cellular connection or rather cellular coverage in any given area. In case the user is out in a no cellular coverage area, the smartphone is left with just all the additional features. The presence of anything beyond the cellular coverage for communication turns essential especially in case of a lack of coverage. Also Read - Apple September Event Preview: iPhone 11 Pro with triple camera, Apple Watch Series 5, AirPods 3, iPad Update and more

Details about Apple walkie talkie project

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It looks like we are not the only one to think that more modes of communication are important. This is because according to a report, Apple was working on similar technology. According to a new report by The Information, Apple was working on a project that would turn iPhone devices into working walkie talkie communication devices. As part of this project, iPhone devices would be able to communicate with each other using the internet wireless hardware. Hence, iPhone devices will not be able to depend on cellular infrastructure. Also Read - Apple iPhone 11-series to come with USB Type-C charger: Report

According to this report, iPhone would then be able to create an ad-hoc network to directly communicate with each other. It also clarified that Apple was working with Intel to create this technology. The company already holds a similar patent back from 2010 under the Message Service-Point to Point (SMS-PP) protocol. Details of the patent indicate that the technology will not require a back-end server to function. The report also states that users could send message data between different devices with the help of a voice channel.

However, Apple has just canceled the project to turn iPhone devices in walkie-talkie devices. There is no clarity on why Apple canned the project. The report goes on to speculate that this may have to do with Ruben Caballero leaving the company earlier this year. It states that Caballero was the lead engineer responsible for creating the in-house 5G modem project. Another contributing factor may be Intel leaving the smartphone modem business after Apple announced its deal with Qualcomm. The report did mention that Apple may reuse the contribution from Intel in the future after purchasing its modem division for $1 billion back in July 2019.

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  • Published Date: August 27, 2019 7:27 PM IST