A new report suggests that Apple has stopped development on a so-called "walkie-talkie" feature that might have served as a key selling point for future iPhones due to its ability to allow people to text each other in areas that don't have cellular coverage.
Citing a report from subscriber-only publication The Information, MacRumors wrote that Apple was working closely with Intel on the feature, which would have worked by allowing iPhone users to send messages over long-distance radio waves in the 900 MHz radio spectrum, thus eliminating the need for a cellular connection. The shelved feature, which shares a name with the Apple Watch's Walkie-Talkie feature (which uses Wi-Fi or cellular connectivity), was supposedly designed mainly for iPhone users on skiing or hiking trips, due to the lack of cellular coverage that often comes with these activities.
Separately, Engadget cited the same report from The Information, noting that the technology was known behind the scenes under the codename Project OGRS and that the aforementioned 900 MHz spectrum is typically used by the utility, oil, and gasoline industries.
While it's possible that Project OGRS will resume at some point in the future and allow the feature to debut on future iPhones, development appears to have been halted for the meantime due to a number of concerns, the report added. None of the aforementioned reports mentioned when the walkie-talkie technology was expected to arrive for iPhone users.