Apple today announced its latest iPhone 14 lineup with groundbreaking satellite connectivity allowing users to access Emergency SOS via satellite without cellular or Wi-Fi.
All four iPhone 14 models gain satellite connectivity
All four models in the iPhone 14 lineup – iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max – support Emergency SOS via satellite. This means that users will be able to send messages and make phone calls without any signals present, allowing them to contact emergency responders as soon as possible. As detailed by Apple:
The iPhone 14 lineup also introduces Emergency SOS via satellite, which combines custom components deeply integrated with software to allow antennas to connect directly to a satellite, enabling messaging with emergency services when outside of cellular or Wi-Fi coverage. Satellites are moving targets with low bandwidth, and it can take minutes for messages to get through.
How does it work?
When using the feature, your iPhone will front-load a few important questions to assess your situation. It will then show you when to point your device in order to connect to a satellite. In case your situation is time-sensitive and you need to reach emergency-service providers as soon as possible, Apple says the “initial questionnaire and follow-up messages are then relayed to centers staffed by Apple‑trained specialists who can call for help on the user’s behalf.”
Emergency SOS via satellite was designed for use in open spaces with a clear line of sight to the sky. Performance may be impacted by obstructions such as trees or surrounding buildings. iPhone will continue to operate under normal temperature conditions.
In addition to this, the connectivity also allows users to manually share their location with Apple’s Find My network without the requirement of cellular or Wi-Fi. This will especially prove useful for users who are hiking or camping in areas where cellular coverage is spotty due to a lack of cellular towers, allowing them to feel more secure.
Emergency SOS via satellite will be available to users in the United States and Canada in November, and the service will be free for two years. It is unclear how much the service will cost after the two years are up.
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