the iPhone 14 series from Apple was presented with the emergency call function “SOS via satellite”. This important function was initially only released in the USA and Canada, but from December 2022 it should also be available in other countries, such as Germany. NextPit shows you how to use and activate the “Emergency SOS via satellite” on compatible iPhones.
For those who don’t know what this new feature means, it’s explained quite simply: On the iPhone 14 Allows users to contact emergency services when cell phone or Wi-Fi coverage is unavailable in the area. This is made possible by a new chip that connects to satellites in low orbit. In this guide, our team did a test in Hawaii during the official Snapdragon 8 Gen 2-Release events simulated.
Last but not least: To have this function on your iPhone To use it, you must first be in a country where the service is readily available. Secondly, your iPhone should support this function. But don’t worry, because all iPhone 14 standard models and also the Pro series are already equipped with this function. More importantly, you are outdoors and you must have a direct connection to a satellite.
Table of Contents
Hopefully you found this guide long before you really needed it. The first thing you need to know is that you cannot test the function via a fake phone call. However, Apple has made provisions and you in iOS 16 created a demo so you can familiarize yourself with the steps.
In the following points we show you how to access the demo that explains how the emergency call function via satellite works so that you know what to do in an emergency:
- First open the Settings app
- Navigated to Emergency SOS
- Scroll down to Emergency SOS via satellite
- Taps Try demo
- Follow the on-screen instructions to connect to a satellite.
Once you’re connected to a satellite, you can familiarize yourself with the interface and features. For example with the description of the scene and the disclosure of your location. If you have previously set up medical IDs in the settings, such as those used for emergency patients, and emergency contacts, this can help the emergency services and simplify the procedure.
In an actual emergency situation, you do not need to follow the steps above. Emergency SOS prioritizes cellular and Wi-Fi calls and initiates a satellite connection only when the first two are unavailable by providing a button on the call screen for Emergency calls via satellite indicates.
If you actually want to use this feature, the UI looks similar to the images Apple shared below, here are the steps to follow:
- Initiates a call to emergency services even if your regular cellular network is available.
- If your call doesn’t go through, tap the button Emergency text via satellite. It is also possible to go straight into the Messages app and 911 or SOS to write.
- Taps “report an emergency“.
- The system will now offer you a range of options and you should select the responses that best apply to your situation.
- Important: You can also choose to notify your emergency contacts that you have called emergency services, along with your location and the nature of your emergency.
- Then follow the on-screen instructions to stay connected while sending your message to the emergency services.
As far as your privacy is concerned, Apple informs that the text messages are encrypted with “Emergency SOS via satellite” but also decrypted by Apple in order to forward them to the appropriate emergency service or emergency call center. In addition, Apple clarifies that the messages may be stored by the emergency operators and the relay provider to improve their services.
Apple rolled out satellite connectivity in the US and Canada in early November. In December 2022, it should then also be available in other countries such as Great Britain and Germany. Here is the full list of countries where iPhone emergency satellite SOS is or will be available:
|United States||November 2022|
|Great Britain||December 2022|
It is also important to know that only Latin characters (as we know them from English, for example) are supported in these messages. And until November 29, 2022, the service only supported American English, American Spanish, and Canadian French.
At the moment, the satellite connection is available free of charge for all iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models. You get a free service for two years from the activation of your device. Apple has not yet announced how much they will charge users: Inside after the free period ends.
Messaging aside, it remains unclear if Apple will add new features like sending pictures, similar to what Samsung is doing for the Galaxy S23 plans.
What other features do you think Apple should add to further improve satellite emergency calling?
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