Apple iPhone 14 / Pro series satellite SOS emergency service is officially launched today

Apple announced in a press release that the iPhone 14 / Pro series satellite SOS emergency service was officially launched in the United States and Canada today, and will expand to more countries and regions in December.

Apple says the technology, available on all iPhone 14/Pro series models, enables users to send messages through emergency services outside of cellular and Wi-Fi coverage. Additionally, users who wish to notify friends and family of their whereabouts when out of network coverage can now open the Find My app and share their location via satellite. Emergency SOS is available via satellite for iPhone 14/Pro series users in the US and Canada starting today (November 15) and will be available in France, Germany, Ireland, and the UK in December.

If users cannot contact emergency services because there is no available cellular network or Wi-Fi coverage, an easy-to-use interface will appear on the iPhone to help users use a satellite connection to get help. Users will receive a short questionnaire that helps users answer important questions with a few simple clicks and transmits the information to dispatchers to ensure they can quickly understand the user's situation and location.

After completing the questionnaire, the interface guides the user on where to point the iPhone to connect and send a message. This message includes the user's survey responses, location, altitude information, iPhone battery level, and more. Questionnaires and follow-up messages are forwarded via satellite directly to dispatchers who receive text messages, or to a forwarding center of Apple-trained experts who can seek assistance on behalf of users. Transcripts can also be shared with a user's emergency contacts, keeping them informed.

Apple says they designed and built custom components and software that allow the iPhone 14/Pro series to connect to the satellite's unique frequencies without the need for bulky antennas. Apple has also developed a text compression algorithm that reduces the average size of messages by 300% , making the experience as fast as possible. With SOS via satellite, users can send and receive messages in as little as 15 seconds in clear weather. Users can use the built-in Satellite SOS demo to test satellite connectivity on the iPhone by connecting to a real satellite in range without triggering the SOS service.

Users who don't have an internet connection but haven't yet encountered an emergency will also be able to share their location with Find My via satellite. In the Find Me app, users can open the Me tab, swipe up to view My Location via satellite, and tap Send My Location. The satellite connection on the iPhone 14/Pro series also works with other safety features available on the iPhone and Apple Watch, including collision detection and fall detection.

The service will provide two years of free service from the day the iPhone 14 / Pro series mobile phones are activated. SOS via Satellite and Find via Satellite I need to upgrade to iOS 16.1 production.

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