I am thinking of all you world cruisers out there that are out of cell range most of the time. Satellite phones are an option but come with a hefty price tag. The inReach/Earthmate combo is a more affordable options that might fit your needs.
The Earthmate app is the interface between the inReach satellite transceiver and the user. It comes in both Android and IOS versions and allows you to send and receive messages, track your progress on charts and maps and has the ability to send out emergency distress calls if needed.
There are other devices out there like the SPOT communicator. The SPOT however lacks world wide coverage and has some drawbacks but may suit your needs too. The SPOT runs about $100.00 while the inReach runs about $250.00. Both devices will require some kind of service plan for satellite communication.
The inReach communicates with the worldwide Iridium network of 66 satellites orbiting the earth. If you are interested you can track them at this website.
- Connects the inReach to your smartphone, tablet or iPad wirelessly via Bluetooth
- Post your location to social networking sites
- Compose email or SMS messages from your phone contacts
- Uses the Iridium satellite service
- Compose and send messages up to 160 characters
- View incoming messages
- Post to Facebook, Twitter, or your own shared map
- SOS Alerts
- Provide text information for emergency responders
- Send status updates on your situation
- Automatic track location
- Select tracking intervals of 10 minutes to 4 hours
- GPS position accuracy within 5 meters
- View tracks of your position online
- Navigate with DeLorme Topo North America maps, DeLorme Digital Atlas of the Earth maps or NOAA Charts
- Downloaded maps are used outside of cell range