iPhone 14 launches free emergency texting via satellite

iPhone 14 launches free emergency texting via satellite

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iPhone 14 launches free emergency texting via satellite
iPhone 14 can talk to satellites in orbit. "Far out" indeed.
Screenshot: Apple

Apple wasn’t kidding when it said its September product launch event would be “far out.” The newly announced iPhone 14 series offers Emergency SOS via satellite, allowing the handset to contact help in critical situations.

And it’s not just for life-threatening danger. It can also be used to share the handset’s location with the Find My network when out of cell service.

Never be out of touch with iPhone 14 satellite communications

Emergency texts will be a tremendous boon for hikers, boaters and anyone traveling through the remote sections of the United States or Canada where cell service isn’t available.

Satellite phones traditionally require bulky external antennas, something iPhone 14 obviously does not have. Apple compensated by showing users where they need to point the handset in order to make a connection with the satellite in low-Earth orbit.

There’s little bandwidth available, and it can take minutes for messages to transmit. That’s why the Emergency SOS app will ask a few vital questions to assess the user’s situation “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,” according to Apple.

Emergency SOS via satellite app
An Emergency SOS app will keep the iPhone 14 pointed at the satellite and ask questions. The service also lets users share their location from anywhere in non-emergencies.
Screenshots: Apple/Cult of Mac

Also offers peace of mind

Knowing that you won’t be completely cut off if you run into danger while driving or hiking outside of cell service is only one of the benefits offered to iPhone 14 users.

Satellite communications can also allow users to manually share their location with Find My  when there is no cellular or Wi-Fi connection. Friends or family will be able to see the location in the Find My app. This will hopefully provide a sense of security when hiking or camping off the grid.

Coming soon to iPhone 14 series

Apple said Wednesday that Emergency SOS via satellite will debut in November 2022, but only to those in the United States and Canada.

The service will be free for two years. The price after that has not yet been announced.

It will work with every iPhone 14 series model: the two “standard” ones and the two Pro versions. Despite earlier rumors, this satellite texting service is not for any earlier Apple handsets.

Source: Apple