Apple details how iPhone 14 uses satellites for emergency SOS

by Jerry

Apple announced its new smartphones on Wednesday (7), and the iPhone 14 line has a novelty related to telecommunications. The products have gained the possibility to communicate via satellite, allowing to use the mobile phone in emergencies even in places where there is no coverage of conventional operators.

The versatility of the iPhone 14’s satellite connectivity is limited compared to traditional terrestrial networks. The service is focused on emergencies, and sends predefined messages to an Apple center itself. You can’t use apps like WhatsApp or make voice calls, for example.

Next to the distress call, the SOS alert sent by the iPhone informs the geographic coordinates with the user’s location, battery level and medical record. Apple’s headquarters passes on the information to the emergency service even if it is not viable to receive messages, brokered via call made by a responsible team.

The operation depends on the iPhone having targeted a satellite, and the system itself guides the user to position the smartphone in the correct way to get a signal. According to Apple, sending an SOS alert takes less than 15 seconds in the open, but it can take a few minutes if the weather is cloudy.

Apple has detailed that satellite communication can only be used in locations without cellular and Wi-Fi coverage. There is also a geographical snag: Emergency SOS service may not be available in locations with latitude above 62°, impacting usage in northern Canada and the state of Alaska.

In addition to SOS messaging, Apple’s satellite service allows the user to share the location of the device through Find My. It’s a way to tell friends and family where you are during a mountain climb, for example.

There are some details of Apple’s satellite service. The launch of the SOS feature takes place in November will be initially available only in the United States and Canada, leaving aside Brazil and other countries.

In any case, the function is available even for devices sold in other countries (with the exception of iPhones purchased in China, Hong Kong and Macau). Owners of these devices will be able to use the SOS feature on trips to the United States and Canada.

In addition, the service will be paid for. Anyone who buys an iPhone will earn two years of the free service, and then will have to pay a fee to keep the SOS alert available. Prices have not yet been disclosed.

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