It's been a year since Apple introduced the emergency satellite SOS function on the iPhone, and reports show that it saves lives already. In this article, we will dig into how it works, and how to use it.
How does the Emergency Satellite SOS feature work on iPhone?
As Apple announced, this safety feature is "intended for exceptional circumstances when no other means of reaching the emergency services are available." And it already saved many lives. For example, after a car crash on a Los Angeles roadside, an iPhone 14 of one of the passengers swiftly detected the incident through its advanced Crash Detection feature, a highlight introduced with the 2022 models. Seamlessly tapping into a satellite connection, the device autonomously contacted emergency services in the absence of Wi-Fi or accessible mobile data.
Thanks to advanced technology, if there is no WiFi or mobile data, the device sends the signal to the emergency services directly via satellite. It's exclusively a safety function, so you can not use it for your personal interests or simple browsing.
Emergency SOS via satellite is available on iPhone 14 or 15. The company hasn't disclosed the extended pricing structure for this essential feature yet. However, users enjoy two years of complimentary access upon activating a compatible device. In a recent update, Apple declared that individuals who've previously activated the feature on their iPhone 14 will receive an additional year of free access.
Here are a few things you should know about Emergency SOS Satellite function:
- It only becomes available when there is no WiFi or cellular connection.
- Messages can take up to 15 seconds to send.
How to use the Emergency SOS Satellite feature
Hopefully, you'll never need to use this feature, however, there are a few things that you'd better know.
- To use the Emergency SOS Satellite feature, go to the Health app and choose Summary.
- Next, tap on your profile picture and select Medical ID > Edit.
- You can fill in important details, such as your blood type, allergies, medical conditions, etc.
- Here you can also select your emergency contacts. Think also about sharing your location with these people, just in case (this setting can be managed in the Find My app.
- If you need to make an emergency call via satellite, first of all, you need to try to call 911. If there is no network, your phone will automatically suggest you use Emergency Text via Satellite option.
- Tap on it, then select Report Emergency and follow the prompts, answering what has happened and what is the condition of you and the people with you. You might need to move a little bit the phone to get a better satellite signal, but anyway, your iPhone will guide you through it in case you need it.