Emergency SOS via satellite on iPhone 14 and iPhone 15: Know how it works

The Emergency SOS via satellite feature on the iPhone 14 and iPhone 15 enables users to send SOS messages directly via satellite, even without cell reception. Know all about it.

| Updated on: Nov 20 2023, 12:15 IST
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Emergency SOS via satellite on iPhone
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Emergency SOS via satellite on iPhone
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Emergency SOS via satellite on iPhone
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Emergency SOS via satellite on iPhone
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Emergency SOS via satellite on iPhone
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Emergency SOS via satellite on iPhone
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Emergency SOS vis satellite feature is available on iPhone 14 and later models. (Apple Support)

Apple's suite of products has several health and fitness features that can save your life. There have been numerous instances of the Apple Watch saving the life of its wearer by alerting them of health abnormalities. But it isn't just the Apple Watch that can become a rescuer in dire circumstances. Perhaps the most crucial of all the features on the iPhone is the Emergency SOS via satellite. Introduced with the iPhone 14 last year, the latest iPhone 15 also comes equipped with this life-saving feature. Know all about the Emergency SOS via satellite feature on the iPhone 15, and how it works.

Emergency SOS via satellite: What is it?

The Emergency SOS via satellite feature basically allows you to send SOS messages directly via satellite even if there is no cell reception. It works with the help of deep software integration with your iPhone antenna to connect directly to a satellite, enabling messaging with emergency services when outside of cellular or Wi-Fi coverage. You can not only contact emergency services with this feature but also share your Medical ID and notify your emergency contacts.

Initially rolled out only in the US and Canada, the Emergency SOS via satellite feature is now available in Australia, Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Portugal, Spain, Switzerland, the UK and the US. This feature works only on the iPhone 14 and later models.

However, this feature isn't totally free. According to Apple, Emergency SOS via satellite is free for two years after the activation of the device.

Emergency SOS via satellite: How to use it

1. To use Apple's Emergency SOS via satellite feature, make sure that you're standing with a clear view of the sky. This feature won't work if there is foliage around you.

2. Now try calling 911 or emergency services in your area. If the call doesn't go through, an Emergency Text via Satellite option will pop up. Tap on it. 

3. You can also go to the Messages app and text 911 or SOS, then tap Emergency Services.

4. Tap Report Emergency and follow the onscreen instructions.

Apple says after you're connected, your iPhone starts a text conversation by sharing critical information such as your emergency contact information as well as your Medical ID. It also shares your location (including the elevation), and your iPhone's battery level, so that you can be found promptly by the rescuers.

Past instances

The Emergency SOS via satellite feature on the iPhone has helped save lives in the past. In December last year, the Emergency SOS via Satellite feature saved the life of a man who was stranded in Alaska. Then in January, it saved the lives of two women who were left stranded after being shown the wrong route by Google Maps, which ultimately led to them being trapped on a blizzardy route, while they also lost their cell service. Via the Emergency SOS via Satellite feature on their iPhone 14, they got in touch with the Apple Help Center which called the emergency services to their location via GPS.

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First Published Date: 20 Nov, 11:54 IST