Testing Apple’s new emergency SOS via satellite feature

Apple today officially launched the new Emergency SOS via satellite feature available for the iPhone 14 models, so we thought we’d test it out to see how it works.

Emergency SOS via satellite is designed to enable users to connect to emergency services when a cellular or Wi-Fi connection is not available, such as while hiking, camping or driving in remote areas.

It’s a feature that only becomes available to use when you’re not connected and try to make a call or send a text, but Apple has a built-in demo feature so users can familiarize themselves with it without having to place an emergency call.

Under Settings > Emergency SOS there is a new Emergency SOS via satellite section with a “Try demo” option.

To get help quickly, Emergency SOS via satellite starts by asking you a series of questions about your situation, such as whether you’ve been lost, had an accident or been injured. That information, along with your medical ID (if enabled) and location, is sent to local emergency services.

If the local emergency services location accepts text messages, the information will be sent instantly, if not, it will go through a relay center with Apple-trained operators who relay the information.

Details are sent through a text interface that allows rescuers to text back and forth with you to gather the information needed for a rescue. For example, if you’ve been in a car accident, emergency responders may ask for more information about your location, your iPhone’s battery level, what happened, and whether you’re in immediate danger from a gas or liquid leak.

Emergency SOS via satellite is intended to work outdoors with a clear view of the sky, and this ensures the best connection. Reduced texts can be sent in just 15 seconds if you have a good view, and the ‌iPhone‌ guides you where to hold your ‌iPhone‌ for the best connection.

You’ll see directions to turn left or right to connect to the satellite, and you’ll be warned on screen if you have a bad connection and steps you can take to improve it, such as moving to a place with a better connection. link. view of the sky.

If there’s not a strong connection, sending texts back and forth can take several minutes, but the ‌iPhone‌ is meant to direct you to an ideal location for communication. Satellite Emergency SOS is limited to emergency texting with emergency responders and cannot be used to text friends and family.

However, the feature can alert your emergency contacts if you call for help via satellite, and it can also be used to update your location via Find My if you don’t have a cellular or Wi-Fi connection. If no connection is available, you will see an option to update your location through the “My Location via Satellite” feature under the “Me” tab in the ‌Find My‌ app.

Emergency SOS via satellite is available on all ‌iPhone 14‌ models and is rolling out today. You must be running iOS 16.1 or later to use the feature and no software update is required. Emergency SOS via satellite is currently available in the United States and Canada and will be expanded to France, Germany, Ireland and the UK in December.

You can use Emergency SOS for free via satellite from now on, and Apple has said it will be available for free to all ‌iPhone 14‌ owners for a period of two years. There’s no word yet on what it will cost when that two-year period ends.

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