Apple’s new safety feature for the iPhone is launching this month.
In a support document (opens in new tab) released on the Apple Support website, the company has revealed that Emergency SOS via satellite, the company’s new safety feature for the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro lineup, will officially launch in November.
The document, which also confirms that the feature will be dependent on an iOS software update happening later this month, is “coming in November 2022.”
What’s Emergency SOS via satellite?
Emergency SOS via satellite is a new feature that is exclusive to the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models. The feature, which will launch first in the United States and Canada, will be available to iPhone 14 owners for free for the first two years. Apple has not yet said how much the feature will cost once the two-year promotional period is over.
Emergency SOS via satellite “combines custom components deeply integrated with software to allow antennas to connect directly to a satellite, enabling messaging with emergency services when outside of cellular or Wi-Fi coverage. Satellites are moving targets with low bandwidth, and it can take minutes for messages to get through. Since every second counts, with Emergency SOS via satellite, iPhone front-loads a few vital questions to assess the user’s situation and shows them where to point their phone to connect to a satellite. The initial questionnaire and follow-up messages are then relayed to centers staffed by Apple-trained specialists who can call for help on the user’s behalf.”
In addition to launching the feature, Apple has also been testing the ability for iPhone 14 users to test out Emergency SOS via satellite for peace of mind it works without having to actually initiate a call to emergency services. It’s currently unclear, however, when Apple may roll out the ability to test the feature.
Whatever happens, we’re only a few weeks away (tops!) from being able to use our iPhone 14 if we find ourselves in an emergency situation in the backcountry.