All You Need To Know About Apple’s Emergency Satellite Communication Feature

Apple took the first step toward Satellite Communication. At its “Far Out” event, Apple finally revealed the iPhone 14 lineup. In addition to improved cameras and speedier chips, the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro now enable satellite communication for the first time. Continue reading to see how it functions and how iPhone 14 owners can profit from it.

All iPhone 14 versions, as rumored, feature satellite networking; in fact, they are the very first Apple products to do so. Apple promotes satellite communication as a safety function, not as a replacement for ordinary cellular access.


At first, satellite access will be available exclusively in the US and Canada beginning in November. According to Apple, the service would be free for 2 years for iPhone 14 purchasers. Following that, there will be a fee to activate satellite communication, but the amount is unknown.

Apple comments that communication via satellite may not really work in regions above 62° latitude, like the north of Canada and Alaska.

Setting Up Satellite Connectivity on iPhone 14

Apple iPhone 14 & iPhone 14 Plus Satellite Communication

First of all, satellites move all the time and are very high up in the sky. This means that you have to find the signal first before you can talk. The iPhone 14 tells you in which direction to point the device until the satellite connection is made. Apple says that “a clear view of the sky” is required for this feature to work outside.

So, when an iPhone is eventually connected to a satellite, customers can call 911 or the emergency services if their provider’s cellular network isn’t working. With satellite connectivity, you can also use Find Me to let your friends and family know where you are.

Read More: Here Is Your Chance To Try Satellite SOS Without Sending Emergency Messages

Because it takes a while to connect to the satellites, the iPhone will ask the user a few questions while it looks for a signal. This includes questions like, “What’s the emergency?” “Who needs help?” and “Is anyone hurt?” The iPhone then sends a text message to a local relay station with all of this information.

Apple says it has made an automated system that makes texts 3x shorter so that they can be sent and received more quickly. This is because text messages have a low bandwidth compared to cellular networks.

How To Utilize Emergency SOS On Your iPhone Using a Satellite

Apple advises you to try phoning the emergency services first, but if you are unable to do so due to a lack of connectivity, you will be given the option to send text messages via satellite.

Next, you’ll receive instructions on how to proceed:

  • Select satellite emergency text.
  • Choose the option of Report Emergency.
  • Answer the questions to add the necessary information.
  • It’s up to you whether to alert your emergency contacts.
  • To establish a satellite connection, adhere to the onscreen instructions.
  • Maintain your connection so that the message can be sent.

How To Connect With Satellite?

There are some things you need to be aware of when using your phone while linked to satellite, even if you can’t merely open your phone and choose to connect to one.

After responding to the emergency questions and being prepared to send the compressed, encrypted communication, you will be led into the satellite connection phase.

First and foremost, you need an unobstructed view of the sky and horizon because obstructions like mountains, structures, and even trees might interfere with your ability to receive a signal. Additionally, keep your phone in your hand rather than in your pocket or purse.

The pictures on the screen will show you when you are connected and tell you whether to turn left or right to improve the connection. There may be voids in the satellite’s coverage, but you will be informed of when you can expect to reconnect.

You Can Specify The Data You Want To Share

You can share your Medical ID and alert your emergency contacts when you use Emergency SOS via satellite. This information must be set up in advance of an emergency.

In the Health app, set up your Medical ID and add emergency contacts.
Before you leave cellular and Wi-Fi service, you should already be sharing your gps with that individual in the Find My app in order to send your location via satellite with them.

When Does The Satellite Communication Work?

If you are out of WiFi or cell service range and need to send an emergency message, you can use satellite connectivity.

Apple says it was made to be used in open spaces with a clear sky view. If trees or buildings are nearby, it may not work either.

Messaging Options

Messaging Options 2

With SOS via Satellite, you can’t make phone calls, but you can send short text messages. The iPhone will ask you important questions right away to figure out what’s going on, and as soon as you’re connected, it will send this information to emergency services.

Apple made an automated system that makes text messages 3x so that they can be sent and received more quickly.

If you’re in a place where rescue services can accept text messages, the text will go straight to them. If you’re not, it will go to a relay center where Apple-trained experts can make an emergency call for you.

Satellite Communication

Getting to the Satellite Connection

To use satellite features, your iPhone needs to connect to a satellite in the sky. The iPhone will tell you where to point your iPhone to connect to the closest satellite.

Time Delays

Apple claims that if you have a clear sky, you can send a short message in 15 seconds. If there are things in the way, it could take several minutes.

Read More: What’s New in iOS 16.1 Beta? Here Is What You Must Know!

Find My Integration

Through satellite connectivity, iPhone users can share their location through Find My even when they don’t have a cellular or WiFi connection. This gives people camping or hiking in remote areas an extra layer of security.

Detecting a crash

The new dual-core accelerometer in the iPhone 14 models which has the power to detect up to 256Gs G-force measurements. While the new high-dynamic-range gyroscope, is there any kind of Crash Detection. Crash Detection is another new function that works with emergency satellites to help you get in touch with emergency services or your relatives no matter where you are.

Car crash detection

Partnership with Globalstar

An SEC filing after Apple’s event says that the satellite connectivity feature is being worked on by Apple and Globalstar. Globalstar will be Apple’s satellite service provider, and it has agreed to give Apple’s iPhones 85 percent of its current and future network capacity.

The contract between Globalstar and Apple says that Globalstar will provide and maintain all resources, such as people, software, satellite systems, and more, and keep minimum standards for quality and coverage.

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