Starting today iPhone 14 owners in the US and Canada can use the Emergency SOS via satellite feature. Next month owners in France, Germany, Ireland and the UK will be able to do the same.
The feature lets you get in touch with emergency services even in areas with no cell or Wi-Fi connectivity. This may be somewhere out in the wilderness or it might be in the heart of a city after a natural disaster brought down the power grid and communications.
The way this feature works is you answer a short questionnaire with vital information – what kind of emergency is it, how many people need help and additional details. These will be transmitted directly to emergency services that can receive text or one of Apple’s centers will make a call on your behalf for those that don’t.
The emergency questionnaire makes sure that first responders have all the important information
You may send and receive additional messages to clarify the situation and help rescuers. Because satellite data is low bandwidth, Apple developed a compression that squeezes text 300%. The phone still needs around 15 seconds to transmit a message (more if you don’t have a clear view of the sky).
Besides the questionnaire, the iPhone can also transmit your Medial ID, if you have that set up. This describes various health conditions you have so that first responders will be aware of any potential issues (e.g. allergies to certain medications). Also, you can have up to 10 iMessage emergency contacts, who will receive a transcript of your emergency message that is sent out over satellite to keep them apprised of the situation.
The phone will guide you through the process of connecting with a satellite, which requires some manual aiming. There is a demo mode that lets you practice so that you will be ready for actual emergencies.
The iPhone 14 will suggest using SOS via satellite if 911 can’t be dialed
Another way to use satellite connectivity without an emergency is sharing your location with friends and family using Find My’s new feature. This and Emergency SOS are available on all four models: iPhone 14, 14 Plus, 14 Pro and 14 Pro Max. You need to run iOS 16.1 or later to use the satellite features. Note that models bought from China, Hong Kong or Macao do not support these features. Also, this may not work above 62° latitude. More details here.
If you bought your iPhone 14 before the launch of the satellite SOS service, you have 2 years of service for free. We still don’t know how much the subscription will cost after that.
Source | Via