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Home / News / Apple rolling out Emergency SOS satellite feature to iPhone 14 models

Apple rolling out Emergency SOS satellite feature to iPhone 14 models

In case of emergency: look up

Apple's Emergency SOS satellite feature in use on iPhone 14

Mobile signal proves to be a major problem in rural areas, even since the advent of the mobile phone. It can result in quite the predicament during emergencies. Luckily, Apple‘s flagship Emergency SOS feature on the iPhone 14 line-up aims to change this. It provides users with easier access to help during emergencies.

The feature allows iPhone 14 models to connect to satellites when the phone doesn’t have a regular cellular connection. You won’t be able to use it to check Twitter in the countryside, though – it’s reserved for emergency situations only. And today, Apple announced it’s rolling out in the US and Canada.

Each iPhone in the new 14-series can connect to satellites thanks to some new, rather clever components inside. Some equally snazzy software will help you to point your device towards the satellites in the sky, so you can reach a stable connection. Once connected, you’ll be able to send emergency texts to emergency services through Apple’s more sophisticated SMS replacement. If your local services don’t support texts, Apple will run these texts through local relay centres to get you connected to help.

The service can only send small amounts of data at a time, so there’s a limited character count for messages. Helpfully, you’ll also be able to share your Medical ID with emergency services, and your location with both emergency services and emergency contacts.

Screenshots of Apple's new Emergency SOS feature in use on iPhone 14

It’s a feature you probably won’t ever need to use (at least we hope not), but it’s an incredible just-in-case feature. With your smartphone already being so capable, it’s impressive to see iPhone feature such a technological leap for emergency situations.

To use Emergency SOS, you’ll need to make sure you’re running at least iOS 16.1. Today’s launch is only for the US and Canada, but the service will roll out in France, Germany, Ireland, and the UK in December. iPhone users get two years of the service for free, but then have to pay an undecided subscription amount. We’d definitely recommend you update your iPhone 14 to iOS 16.1, so you have this feature to fall back on.

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Connor is a writer for Stuff, working across the magazine and the Stuff.tv website. He has been writing for around six years now, with writing across the web and in print too. Connor has experience on most major platforms, though does hold a place in his heart for macOS, iOS/iPadOS, electric vehicles, and smartphone tech. Just like everyone else around here, he’s a fan of gadgets of all sorts! Aside from writing, Connor is involved in the startup scene. This exciting involvement puts him at the front of new and exciting tech, always on the lookout for innovating products.

Areas of expertise

Mobile, macOS, EVs, smart home