Today Apple confirmed its all-new iPhone 14 Emergency SOS via satellite feature is ready to go and will arrive later this month. The iPhone 14 series have a built-in satellite connection that allows owners to send an emergency SOS when there’s no cell phone signal.
Those with an iPhone 14 or iPhone 14 Pro in the U.S. and Canada will get access to the highly anticipated feature later this month. It was one of the most exciting updates mentioned on stage during the announcement, and now we finally have more details.
In a press release, Apple announced a massive $450 million investment into its emergency SOS satellite infrastructure and other features, with much of the fund going to its satellite partner Globalstar.
When an iPhone user is somewhere without a cell signal or WiFi, they’ll still be able to alert authorities in an emergency. The Emergency SOS via satellite feature will appear, and users can select the type of emergency. Then on-screen prompts help them direct the phone toward a Globalstar satellite to send the emergency message.
Apple says satellite messages will take around 15 seconds to send in ideal conditions with a clear sky, while worse conditions could take over a minute. Still, being able to send a message in dire situations is a big deal. The blog post states that “in environments with heavy foliage or other obstructions, an iPhone might fail to connect to a satellite entirely.”
It sounds like an iOS 16 update will arrive in late November, giving millions of iPhone 14 owners access to the featureRemembernd that while the service will be free for the first two years, Apple will likely charge for it later.
via The Verge