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Emergency SOS via Satellite Now Available for iPhone 14 Users in US, Canada

November 15, 2022

Apple’s Emergency SOS via satellite feature is now available to anyone with an iPhone 14 model in the United States or Canada. The feature will rollout to France, Germany, Ireland, and the UK next month.

How Emergency SOS via Satellite Works

How Emergency SOS via Satellite Works

Available for the iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max, the feature connects your phone to a satellite to provide information in case of an emergency and when you are not in range of a cellular or Wi-Fi signal.

If you’re ever in need of help and unable to dial 911, an interface will appear to help use the satellite connection and answer a few vital questions about the station. All of that information, along with location, iPhone battery level, and more, are also transmitted.

The information will arrive to emergency dispatchers that can accept text messages or to relay centers staffed by Apple-trained specialists who can call for help. The transcript can also be shared with your emergency contacts.

Since satellites are thousands of miles away from Earth and have low bandwidth, Apple designed hardware components and software to connect to the satellite without a bulky antenna. A text compression algorithm was also developed to reduce the size of text messages by 300 percent.

In clear conditions, Apple says an emergency text message can be sent in under 15 seconds. But with any obstructions, it could take a few minutes for the message to be sent.

To better understand how the feature works, you can try out a Emergency SOS via satellite demo on your iPhone that can test the feature and connect a real satellite in range without calling emergency services.

The feature can also be used in a non-emergency situation. You can also share your location via satellite using the Find My app when no Wi-Fi or cellular signal is available. To do that, open the Find My app and then select the Me tab. Swipe up yo see My Location via Satellite and then choose Send My Location.

Emergency SOS via Satellite is free for two years starting at the time of your phone’s activation. You’ll need iOS 16.1.