Speaker 1: Hundreds of miles above the earth, beyond the sky and clouds flying by at 15,000 miles per hour are communication satellites. While you can’t see them with a human eye, they could be vital to help you or someone you love if you’re ever injured or in distressed and out of cell service. In fact, if you have an iPhone 14, you can contact emergency dispatchers with one of these satellites. Even if you can’t make a phone call, the feature is [00:00:30] called Emergency SOS via satellite and hopefully like car crash detection is something you’ll never have to use. But if you’re like me and you’re curious about the feature and how it works, I got good news. Apple invited me out to Apple Park on a very rainy morning to try the feature out, and I gotta say I’m pretty impressed.
Speaker 1: I’m back here at the C office. And the first thing you should know is that you don’t need to know [00:01:00] anything about Emergency SOS or how it works. The service is designed to work on its own and the interface will walk you through the process step by step. The second thing you should know is that using Emergency SOS is equivalent to calling 9 1 1. In fact that’s actually how you use it. You dial nine one one and if your phone can’t connect, you can text emergency services via satellite. Hence the name. You need to be outside with a clear [00:01:30] view of the sky. And after the nine one one call fails, you are presented with a screen to try Emergency SOS tap the emergency text via satellite button. By the way, you could also go to messages to text 9 1 1 or sos. Then tap emergency services. Notice the satellite icon on the top right of the phone.
Speaker 1: Next tap report emergency. Since a back and forth conversation isn’t really possible over a satellite connection, [00:02:00] like a regular phone, Apple worked with emergency dispatchers to create a form A questionnaire that gathers the information they need in order to respond. Using taps, you answer the emergency questions to best describe your situation. The types of emergencies you can choose between are car or vehicle issue, sickness or injury, crime, lost or trapped or fire. And depending on your emergency, you’re gonna get different prompts and questions for each one. [00:02:30] You can also choose to notify your emergency contacts. Next live onscreen directions help you connect to a satellite. Now the interface is simple and guides you to how to find the satellite and stay connected. As the satellite moved, I was prompted to move left or right to maintain the connection. And despite a cloudy, rainy day, the connectivity worked within 20 to 30 seconds.
Speaker 1: Most of the time, once you’re connected, your iPhone starts a text conversation with [00:03:00] emergency responders and shares with them. The emergency questionnaire answers your location, including elevation, as well as critical information like your medical ID and emergency contact information. If you have them set up. And it also shares the remaining battery life for your iPhone, you might be asked to respond to additional messages to give specifics about where you’re located or whether you have medication, for example. Luckily, at the top of the screen, a window shows you your connection to the [00:03:30] satellite and the status of your messages. Emergency dispatchers receive your messages and respond via text to start a conversation. Now, if your local dispatch doesn’t support text messages, Apple has set up relay centers with operators who work as a go between. Again, hopefully you will never need to use the feature, but I should note some fine print First.
Speaker 1: Emergency SOS via satellite only works on the iPhone 1414 plus 14 PRO [00:04:00] and 14 Pro Max. The service doesn’t work indoors and tall buildings, mountains, dense foliage and other objects actually could block connectivity between your phone and the satellite. Apple announced that the service is free for two years, but beyond that, they haven’t really shared any information about how much it will cost or if they ever will actually charge people to access it at launch, it’ll work in the US and Canada. Now, if you wanna test emergency SOS via satellite for yourself, but not [00:04:30] actually call 9 1 1. Apple has you covered. They created a demo mode that you can try. Open settings, tap Emergency sos, and scroll to the bottom to try a demo. The demo turns off your cellular connection and gives you a preview of the emergency questionnaire, but to be clear, it’s not actually contacting emergency services.
Speaker 1: And then the demo walks you through finding a satellite. It’s a really neat way to try the feature out, either as a drill or just because it’s cool [00:05:00] because you are actually connected to a satellite in space. I mean, think about the possibilities, but it turns out there’s actually one other way to use satellite connectivity on your iPhone, and that’s sharing your location to let loved ones know where you are without messaging in the find My app, Tap Me. And when you expand the tab, you’ll see a new section called My Location via Satellite tap. Send my location,
Speaker 1: [00:05:30] Like I said in my iPhone 14 review. Some of the best features on these phones are things you can’t see, or probably things you’ll never have to use, which is a good thing. And Emergency SOS via satellite is honestly one of the best features on any phone I’ve seen this year. But now I wanna hear from you guys. What do you think about Emergency SOS via satellite? Also, we do these Apple stuff videos every week. Let us know the comments, what you’d like to see last. Do all the YouTube things like subscribe, and thank you for watching.