Apple already announced last week, soon to want to launch its satellite emergency call function in the USA and Canada. The new service will start immediately in both countries. However, the new press release contains good news for users in Europe: Emergency satellite calling on iPhones 14 will also be available in Germany, France, UK and Ireland from December.
A prerequisite for using the new SOS call is iOS 16.1 on the iPhone 14. The service will remain free for the first year, after which undefined fees will probably apply. The technical partner in orbit is Globalstar, a satellite operator from the USA whose satellites also cover almost all of Europe and parts of North Africa.
Apple is now showing in more detail how an emergency call should work without mobile communications and without a WLAN connection: If an iPhone user tries to call 112, the device displays an error message “No network. Do you want to send an emergency call message via satellite?”
If the new option is selected, the system asks a few questions about the existing emergency, whether the user is affected or someone else, whether someone is injured, whether you are in rough terrain, by the water or in a cave. If the questions are answered, the system sends the notification to the nearest emergency call service or to a specialized Apple service that forwards such messages.
Since the satellites usually have a very small bandwidth and orbit several kilometers above the earth at high speed, the transmission of such a message can take some time. Apple claims emergency messages are a third the size of the system’s traditional messages. And yet, in addition to answers to the questions about the emergency, the emergency messages also contain the exact location of the device, the emergency pass if it is activated, and the battery status of the iPhone.
Users can try out the new function of the iPhone 14: A demo call is available in the system, in which the user connects to a satellite, but the emergency call or message is not sent. Also “Where is?” has access to the Globalstar satellite network: The app can also be used to share the location via satellite if mobile communications or WiFi are not available. (macworld)
Tag: iphone design, iphone 14, apple iphone, iphone release