Apple will extend its Emergency SOS via satellite feature will to six new countries within this month. Emergency SOS via satellite can assist users in connecting with emergency services when no other means of reaching emergency services are available. If users call or text emergency services and are unable to connect because they are outside the range of cellular and Wi-Fi coverage, the supported iPhone attempts to connect the user to the assistance they require via satellite. Users can access Emergency SOS via satellite on iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models running iOS 16.1 or later.
The feature was first launched only in the US and Canada. The Cupertino-based company then expanded it to the UK, France, Germany, and Ireland. The company said they will extend the feature to users in Austria, Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, and Portugal this month, in a press release announcing the launch of the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus in a new yellow colour variant on Tuesday.
Emergency SOS via satellite allows users outside of cellular or Wi-Fi coverage to communicate with emergency services and it can also be used to find your own location and share it with friends and family using the Find My app.
Because it takes some time to establish a connection with the satellites, the iPhone will prompt users with a few pre-programmed questions while it searches for a signal. If a user is heading to a location with limited cellular and Wi-Fi coverage, Apple suggests that they create a Medical ID, add emergency contacts, and test the Emergency SOS demo beforehand.
Apple also notes that to try to connect to a satellite, users can keep their iPhone in their hand naturally – without raising their arm or holding it up, but they advise against putting it in a pocket or backpack. The company adds that users may be unable to connect to a satellite if they are surrounded by dense foliage or other obstructions.
Because bandwidth is limited on cellular networks, Apple developed a compression algorithm that reduces text messages three times in order to improve communication speed. Satellite connectivity is also included as default with the Crash Detection feature.
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