Apple was planning on releasing a new walkie-talkie feature for the iPhone but then canned it, according to a new report from The Information. The feature would have allowed users to speak with each other without the need for cellular coverage.
Designed to work on the 900MHz radio spectrum, the feature was worked on with Intel and would have allowed iPhones to communicate over long distances without the need for a cellular connection to be established.
However, the feature was shelved for multiple reasons. One of those was the loss of Ruben Caballero, the person who was heading the team that was working on the feature.
The unannounced feature would also require Intel hardware to be used. However, Apple will be moving to Qualcomm modems starting next year. Given the fact Apple has now picked up Intel’s modem business it’s possible that we will see the walkie-talkie feature arrive in the future, though.
For now, the feature is dead in the water. As we mentioned, that doesn’t mean that we will never see it as part of future iPhones. Apple has previously shelved plans for devices and features only to rekindle them at a later date.
It’s also important not to confuse this feature with the Walkie-Talkie app on Apple Watch that has been revoked by Apple for now due to security concerns. That implementation requires a network connection in order to work, whereas the one that was planned for iPhones did not.
(Source: The Information)
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