Testing Emergency SOS via satellite on iPhone 14

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Cover background by Kalem Emsley via Unsplash

Apple’s new Emergency SOS via Satellite feature is available on all iPhone 14 models and allows users in the United States, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, and the UK, to contact emergency services when there’s no cellular or Wi-Fi coverage. This feature can provide peace of mind for those traveling in remote locations and can potentially help save lives. Additionally, users can share their location through the Find My app through the satellite connection. The feature is free for two years, said Apple in the press release, with no information about the price after that time.

The Emergency SOS via Satellite works all the way through short messages, if your local emergency operators do not support messages, Apple has relay centers with operators that relay the information directly to the emergency services. This new functionality is a lifesaver, during ski or snowboard accidents, hiking, getting lost or trapped in the woods, and even car accidents when there is no cellular connection on the highway.

We tested the new feature during a road trip, the car in motion, and we were pleasantly surprised with the results. Apple recommends using the feature in an open space, preferably without near buildings or any other obstructions that could interfere with the connection. To try the demo, you’ll need to be in one of the countries that are now enabled, but for our international readers, here’s how it works.

First, you open the Settings app

-Scroll down and tap on the Emergency SOS tab  

-Under Emergency SOS Via Satellite Tap at “Try Demo”

After that, you need to follow the instructions to connect to the satellite, such as pointing to where the satellite is positioned until you get a reliable connection and the icon turns green.

Then it will open messages and you will be able to answer a questionnaire about what type of emergency it is; we selected a car accident. You will need to answer basic questions such as describing the location and what caused the accident. We said that we were at San Antonio I-10, mile 45, and there was a cow on the road. Then, we were asked about any gas or liquid leaks and we responded that there were no liquid leaks from the vehicle. Finally, we received a message saying that help was coming and that we should not move from our current location.

We really hope you never have to use this feature, but in the event of a real emergency, if you are in a country that has enabled the feature, you don’t need to open the Settings app or anything. After calling 911 or the country’s emergency number, you will automatically be given the option, if there is no cellular connectivity.

Disclaimer: This is a demo, not an actual emergency, and it is not intended to be used in a real emergency. If you or someone else has a real emergency, please follow Apple’s instructions for using this feature.

Author: JJ

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