​ Have you ever hiked on a mountain or camped away from civilization? If you did, you probably know there is no reception whatsoever there. So in an eventual emergency, you are completely stranded.

However, if you have an iPhone 14 and you find yourself in such a situation, you can now use Apple‘s Emergency SOS via satellite feature to call for help even if your phone shows there is no reception. And since this is a new feature that has the potential to save your life, we decided to write a dedicated article about it and tell you everything you need to know about iPhone 14’s Emergency SOS via satellite function.

What is Emergency SOS via satellite in the iPhone 14?

Emergency SOS via satellite is exactly what its name suggests. In case of emergency and zero reception, you can connect your iPhone 14 to a satellite and call for help by sending a message and your exact location to an emergency services provider or an Apple relay center, which can call for assistance on your behalf.

When will the Emergency SOS via satellite feature be available?

The Emergency SOS via satellite feature will become available in November.

Where will the Emergency SOS via satellite feature be available?

In the beginning, Apple’s new emergency service will only be available in the US and Canada. But if you have an iPhone 14 and travel to the US or Canada, you might be able to use this feature as well, even if it isn’t available in your country. After all, all iPhone 14 models have the same antennas, so it is a possibility.

What models support Apple’s Emergency SOS via satellite feature

Only the new iPhone 14 lineup supports Apple’s Emergency SOS via satellite function. The latest iPhones have custom components integrated within their antennas, which enable them to directly establish a connection with a satellite. Previous iPhone models don’t have such upgrades to their antennas and can’t connect to a satellite directly.

How does Emergency SOS via satellite work?

When you choose to send a message via satellite, you will see that you can report five types of emergencies:

  • A car or vehicle issue
  • Sickness or Injury
  • Crime
  • Lost or Trapped
  • Fire

When you choose your emergency, your iPhone will ask you a few additional questions for the emergency services to better know your situation. For example, if you choose “Sickness or injury,” your phone will ask you if anyone is injured, to which you can respond with “Yes” or “No” via the appropriate buttons.

After that, your iPhone will guide you to connect to a satellite. It will display messages like “Turn right” or “Turn left” until it establishes a successful connection.

Now, you should know that for a stable and successful connection, you will need a clear view of the sky and the horizon, so you may need to move a little until you find such a spot. Also, you can’t connect to a satellite if you are indoors, and Apple warns that tall buildings, mountains, dense vegetation, or other objects may also block the connection.

When you find the perfect spot, your iPhone 14 will need to be pointed straight to a satellite. Of course, you can’t see it with the naked eye, but a helpful graphical prompt and animation will guide you. Then, it connects to the emergency services provider or to an Apple emergency relay center located in the US or Canada, which will then contact an emergency services provider on your behalf. There is even an option to notify or not notify your emergency contacts about your condition.

Your situation, location, phone’s battery level, and Medical ID information — if enabled, of course — like medications, height, and weight will be automatically shared with the emergency services. Additionally, emergency services will be informed if you change your location during your conversation with them.

Wait, what conversation? Yes, while you are connected to the satellite, you will be able to send and receive messages — which will appear in gray chat boxes — to and from the emergency services. This way, through follow-up questions, you will be able to give more information about your situation. Furthermore, if you have notified your emergency contacts, they will also receive a transcript of your conversation.

Since messages sent via satellite can take longer to travel than regular communication over cellular, Apple uses a short text compression algorithm to send your messages more quickly. However, it’s still advisable to keep your messages as short as possible.

Another thing you should know is that there may be gaps in satellite coverage. However, your iPhone will immediately tell you when the next satellite will be available.

How to enable Emergency SOS via satellite on iPhone 14

When you try to call the emergency services provider without having any reception, your iPhone 14 will offer you use the Emergency Text via Satellite instead. On the right side of the “End Call” button, you will see a new green message button with an “SOS” on it, which, when pressed, will activate the feature and require you to report your emergency.

Also, if you dial the emergency services but can’t connect with them, the feature will activate on its own after around 60 seconds.

Share your location with friends and family

Even if you are not in an emergency, you may still want to let friends and family know exactly where you are. That is why, Find My now also supports the new satellite connection. You can just check in from time to time and update your latest location, so your close ones (or hiking buddies) can know where you are.

How to Share Your Location Via Satellite Using Find My:

  • Go to the Find My app
  • In the People tab, tap Start Sharing Location
  • Choose the contacts to share to
  • If the iPhone has no cellular connectivity, you will be guided to connect to a satellite
  • Receivers will see a prompt that your location has been shared by satellite (so they know it probably won’t update often)

How much will Emergency SOS via satellite cost?

iPhone 14’s Emergency SOS via satellite feature will be free for two years starting from the date of the device’s activation. Currently, there is no information on how much the new emergency service will cost when these two years expire.

Final Words

Apple’s new Emergency SOS via satellite feature really sounds like it could save your life in an emergency. And although we explained how it works, we sincerely hope you will never need to use it.

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