The highly anticipated Emergency SOS went live for iPhone 14 users on Tuesday, November 15. It was highlighted during Apple’s Far Out event, which saw the release of iPhones, Apple Watches, and the next-gen AirPods Pro. The feature allows you to send messages using emergency services outside the cellular range. It is currently available to users in the U.S and Canada. Meanwhile, folks in France, Germany, Ireland, and the U.K. will have to wait until next month to get the same.
Recently, Apple said that it had to spend $450 million with U.S companies in order to get Emergency SOS via satellite rolling — with the majority of that money going to Globalstar, a Louisiana-based satellite operator. In an emergency, you can use the service by calling 911. Considering you are not in a cellular service region, a green SOS message button will appear saying “Emergency Text via Satellite.” After pressing the button, you will have to complete a multiple-choice questionnaire.
When submitted, the phone will ask you to move in different directions to align with the satellite. As soon as your iPhone strikes a connection, it sends your location, your questionnaire answers, and your Medical ID is sent to your emergency contacts or to relay centers staffed with Apple specialists.
You don’t need any additional app to use it, just ensure that you’re running iOS 16.1 in the U.S or Canada. The information about the feature will be displayed in the Emergency SOS section. Apple won’t charge you a penny for the first two years, but after that, you will be bound to pay a certain amount to continue using the service.
The service plans and pricing are yet to be released. Therefore, only time will tell how costly the service will be. You also need to ensure you have an iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, or iPhone 14 Pro Max. Older iPhone models aren’t compatible with Emergency SOS via satellite, though we expect future iPhones — like the iPhone 15 — to continue supporting the feature.
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