Apple has officially launched the new Apple Watch Emergency SOS via Satellite feature available for iPhone 14 models. So we decided to give it a try.
Emergency SOS via Satellite is used to connect users to emergency services in areas where no WiFi or cellular connection is possible, such as hiking, camping, and driving in remote locations.
This feature is only available when there’s no internet connection. However, Apple provides a demo feature to allow users to get acquainted with the feature without placing an emergency call.
Under Settings > Emergency SOSThere is a new version of the app. Emergency SOS via Satellite section with a “Try Demo” option.
To get help quick, Emergency SOS via Satellite begins by asking you questions about your current situation. This includes whether you are lost, injured, or involved in an accident. This information is combined with your Medical ID (if activated), and your location are sent to the local emergency services.
If local emergency services accepts text messages, the information is sent directly. If not, it is routed through a relay centre with Apple-trained operators who pass on the information.
Text message interfaces allow emergency responders to communicate with you via text to get the details they need to save your life. For example, if you are involved in a car accident rescuers may want to know more about where you were, how your iPhone battery is performing, what happened and whether you are in danger of a gas or fluid leak.
Emergency SOS via Satellites are designed to work outdoors when there is clear sky. Reduced size texts can send in just 15 seconds if you have a clear view, and the iPhone guides you where to hold your iPhone for the best connection.
You will see the directions to go left or right to connect to the satellite. If you experience a slow connection, you’ll be notified on screen and given the options to fix it.
If there isn’t a strong connection, it can take several minutes for texts to be sent back and forth, but the iPhone aims to direct you to an ideal location for communication. Emergency SOS via Satellite is only capable of sending emergency messages to emergency responders. It cannot be used to send text messages to friends or family.
However, the feature will alert your emergency contacts if it is necessary to call for help. via Satellite can be used to update your position and also for satellite navigation via If you don’t have a WiFi or cellular connection, Find Me will show you how to find me. If there is no connection, the option to update your position through the app will be available. “My Location via Satellite” under the “Me” tab in the Find My app.
Emergency SOS via satellite is available on all iPhone 14 models, and it is rolling out today. The feature requires iOS 16.1 and later. There is no software upgrade required. Emergency SOS via Satellite is currently available in the United States, Canada, and France. It will expand to Germany, Ireland and the UK in December.
You can use Emergency SOS via satellite for free as of right now, and Apple has said it will be available at no cost to all iPhone 14 owners for a period of two years. It is not yet known what the cost will be after that two-year period.