Apple launches satellite emergency locator feature for iPhone 14

Spread the love

Apple launches satellite emergency location feature for iPhone 14

Apple launched its satellite emergency location service on Tuesday.

The Apple giant wants to provide a measure of security to the owners of its devices that are in places outside of the range of cellular networks. To do this, Apple on Tuesday launched in Canada and the United States an emergency messaging and location service by satellite.

This feature is only available for iPhone 14 equipped with the most recent version of iOS 16.

In concrete terms, if a person is unable to call the services of emergency due to no cellular or wi-fi network in their area, a new button will appear offering to send an emergency text message via satellite.

A questionnaire will then appear, allowing the person who needs assistance to specify, among other things, the nature of the emergency: a car problem or an injury, for example. The iPhone will then show a pictogram indicating in which direction to point the device to establish communication with a satellite.

Because satellites move quickly, have little bandwidth, and are located thousands of miles from Earth, transmitting even a very short and simple message can in some cases take a few minutes, according to a statement from Apple. But under clear skies and clear horizons (foliage can interfere with transmission, for example), it can also be done in seconds.

People using the service will be able to transmit, but also receive text messages from the emergency services, if, of course, the latter accept text messages.

There are many remote and rural areas in Canada where there is a significant need for this kind of service, reacted in the press release Robert Stewart, president of the Association of Public Safety Communications Officers of Canada.


Apple clarifies that satellite emergency location may not work beyond 62nd parallel north, excluding much of the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut, as well as the tip of the Ungava Peninsula in Nunavik, Quebec.

iPhone 14 owners can test out satellite connectivity and learn about the feature without necessarily contacting emergency services. It is accessed through the device settings by going to the Emergency SOS section then Emergency SOS via satellite, where you can try the demonstration.

Apple also announced that satellite location can be used to send a person's location through the Find My application.

These messaging and satellite location services will be offered free of charge for two years, or for two years following activation of a new iPhone. Apple does not specify the price that could be applied thereafter.

In a previous blog post, the Apple giant said that setting up this service required investments of US$450 million (approximately C$600 million) in infrastructure, primarily in partnership with Globalstar, an American satellite communications company.

With information from The Verge, and CNBC

Previous Article
Next Article