The iPhone 14 offers “satellite communication”: how it works

The new iPhone 14s will allow users in distress or lost to send an SOS via satellite. But, in practice, how does it work?

Apple continues to focus on the security of its users. Thanks to this new function, the Cupertino company goes to the next level. Indeed, this satellite communication will undoubtedly save many lives.

At first, on its support page, Apple advises to first use the network of its telephone operator. If, unfortunately, you are not in a place where the network coverage of your operator is available, you have one solution: send a message to the rescuers by satellite.

How it works ?

On its help page, the Cupertino company gives us more information on how this new function works. Here is what we can read there:

“Once you’re signed in, your iPhone starts a text conversation with emergency responders sharing critical information such as your Medical ID and emergency contact information (if you’ve set it up), quiz answers emergency, your location (including altitude) and time remaining, or your iPhone’s battery life. You may be asked to reply to additional messages »

In addition, Apple guarantees full encryption of messages sent by satellite. The American firm is the only one able to decode the message sent to the emergency services.

Who is Apple’s partner?

According Reuters, Apple would use Globalstar as a partner for satellite communication. Several rumors also speak of discussion between Elon Musk and Apple for a potential future partnership.

Locate your satellite

Before reaching the emergency services, we will have to find the satellite. You will need clear skies to make it easier to access an available satellite. In extreme situations, it will be more complicated to access satellite communication. The connection mode resembles object location via an AirTag.

Concretely, you will have to find the available satellite by orienting your phone in its axis. For this, you will have to lean and turn your phone in the right axis. For this, the Cupertino company will help us with a dedicated interface. Once the phone is in the right axis, you can answer questions and send this famous SOS to help.

Availability and prices

Currently, this feature is only available in the United States and Canada. To take advantage of this option, you will need to have one of the models in the 14 range (iPhone 14, 14 Plus, 14 Pro or 14 Pro Max) and iOS 16. On the positive side, smartphones purchased in Europe will also be able to take advantage of this advantage if you travel to North America.

In terms of price, this service will be free for 2 years in this part of the world.

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