Those who have gotten their hands on one of the iPhone 14 models launched this fall will be able, in the event of an emergency, to use the SOS service via satellite which allows you to call for help when the cellular network is out of reach.
For those who go on an adventure away from cellular networks, this new satellite communication function of the iPhone 14 becomes a good selling point compared to the competing devices.
“No additional software is required to establish communication. People are connected directly to emergency services equipped to receive text messages. And if this is not possible, their messages are relayed to teams of specialists trained by Apple, who transmit them for them to a call center that only supports voice calls.
How the service works
Failing to contact the 911 service, the Satellite SOS Emergency function displays a simple window prompting the person in distress to answer vital questions, as in these screenshots.
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The data sent includes geographic position, altitude, iPhone battery level and Medical Record (if this option is activated).
All is transmitted by satellite to dispatch services that accept text messages or are relayed to teams directly at Apple who can call for help on behalf of the person in distress.
To this end, the iPhone 14s have components and software to connect it to satellite frequencies without having to use an external antenna. The data is also compressed to reduce the data size by 300%.
Interestingly, the “Emergency SOS via satellite” service allows messages to be sent and received in just 15 seconds when the sky is clear. With the built-in Satellite SOS Emergency Demo, people who want to learn about the service and try out how it works can test their iPhone's satellite connectivity by establishing a connection to a real satellite within range without calling for help.
If a widespread outage (natural or other disaster) were to disable cellular 911 service, then iPhone 14 owners will be able to use SOS Emergency via satellite.
Satellite tracking with the Locate app
Share your location
In addition, people who want to reassure loved ones when traveling off-grid can now share their location via satellite with the Find My app.
Users can open the Me tab of the app, swipe up to view My Location via satellite, then tap Share my location.
Available in the US and Canadian markets, the service will be extended to France, Germany, Ireland and the UK in December.
The service is offered free of charge for two years with the activation of a new iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro or iPhone 14 Pro Max.