Apple recently unveiled Emergency SOS via satellite technology in Australia and New Zealand for iPhone 14 models, enabling users to reach emergency services outside cellular and Wi-Fi coverage areas. In addition, users can share their location through satellite using the Find My App to reassure friends and family while traveling in areas without these coverage types.
How It Works?
All iPhone 14 models can connect directly to satellite through custom-designed hardware components and integrated software. Emergency SOS via satellite expands on existing features such as Emergency SOS, Medical ID, emergency contacts, and Find My Location sharing. The service connects users to relay centers staffed with Apple-trained emergency specialists who can contact emergency services on the user's behalf.
To use Emergency SOS via satellite, users can press and hold the side button with one of the volume buttons until the Emergency SOS slider appears. A short questionnaire helps users answer vital questions, which are transmitted to dispatchers along with the user's location and Medical ID if enabled. Then, the interface guides the user to point their iPhone toward the sky to connect to the satellite's unique frequencies without a bulky antenna.
Messages are compressed to reduce size, and users can send and receive messages in as little as 15 seconds in clear conditions. In addition, users can test the service without contacting emergency services using the built-in Emergency SOS via satellite demo. The satellite connection on the iPhone 14 lineup also works with other safety features like Crash Detection and Fall Detection.
Availability and Requirements
Emergency SOS via satellite and Find My via satellite services are available in Australia, New Zealand, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, UK, and US requiring iOS 16.4 or later as operating system requirements.
Apple recently unveiled satellite connectivity features to Australian and New Zealand iPhone owners on iPhone 14, 14 Plus, Pro Max, Pro, and Pro Max models of its flagship handset in Australia and New Zealand. As a result, when users attempt to place emergency calls while disconnected from cellular networks and Wi-Fi connections, they can now make such calls via satellite instead.
Users can test out the satellite feature via an indirect demo on an iPhone 14.
Settings -> Emergency SOS -> Scrolling Down To Satellite Emergency SOS And Press "Try Demo"
In addition, since data transmission over satellite networks can be slow, Apple provides text prompts on how to send short, optimized messages that emergency services can respond to with replies for two-way conversations if required. Emergency SOS via satellite connects users directly with nearby emergency services that support text-based communications. Otherwise, workers at Apple relay centers receive emergency messages on behalf of users and transmit them over phone lines directly.
Apple will offer satellite features free for two years starting the date of device activation or when service becomes available in their region, whichever comes later. Unfortunately, however, no information was disclosed by Apple as to their pricing plan after this initial free period ended. Satellite connectivity when making emergency calls or tracking their devices, even when roaming alone in remote areas where cellular coverage may not exist.
Australia is among the countries where Apple's satellite connectivity features have been available for iPhone 14 users. As a result, the Australian government has expressed appreciation for the launch of Emergency SOS via satellite, encouraging users to familiarize themselves with the feature. By doing so, Australian iPhone 14 users can benefit from the peace of mind that comes with having a reliable method of communication in areas with no cellular or Wi-Fi coverage, particularly in remote or sparsely populated regions. In addition, with Emergency SOS via satellite, help is always closed, regardless of the user's location or connectivity status.
Apple has taken an impressive leap in making technology more available and useful in remote areas, which I find immensely exciting as someone who enjoys exploring nature. Furthermore, their satellite connectivity features provide added peace of mind whether or not you consider yourself an adventurer! So whether or not this technology appeals to you personally, give Apple's satellite connectivity features some thought!