What you need to know

  • Apple has reportedly shelved a project that would have allowed iPhones users to communicate while offline.
  • Known as Project OGRS, the project would have allegedly run over the 900 megahertz radio spectrum.
  • The report claims the feature could still appear in a future iPhone release.

A feature that would have allowed iPhone users to communicate without an internet connection has allegedly been shelved. According to The Information, Apple was developing its "walkie-talkie" feature with the help of Intel.

The Information writes:

Apple was working with Intel on the technology that would have let people send messages from their iPhones directly to other iPhones over long-distance radio waves that bypass cellular networks, said two people familiar with the project. The technology would have functioned something like a walkie talkie for text messages, giving people the ability to communicate in areas unserved by wireless carriers.

The project was internally known as "Project OGRS" (or Off Grid Radio Service), and would have used 900 megahertz radio spectrum to allow iPhone users to communicate while offline. The same technology is used for dispatch radio communications.

The report doesn't say how far along the project was or what issues caused Apple to stop development. Apparently, one of the project's biggest evangelicals recently left Apple.

It's unclear if Project ORGS will show up in a future iPhone now that the initiative has been shelved. With Apple now developing its own in-house modems, however, there's a chance we could see something show up in the future.