Apple has started to roll out its Emergency SOS solution for the iPhone 14. The new feature is available from November 15, starting in the U.S. and Canada and rolling out to Europe in the coming weeks, the iPhone maker announced.
First announced at the iPhone 14 launch event in September, the new feature allows you to connect to emergency services via satellite when you can’t get access to a cellular or Wi-iFi network.
Many people won’t ever use this feature, but it also has another purpose: If you are ever traveling off grid—say, you are going for a hike—you can share your location with friends or family via the Find My app. Pretty cool, huh?
“Some of the most popular places to travel are off the beaten path and simply lack cellular coverage,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice president of worldwide marketing. “With Emergency SOS via satellite, the iPhone 14 line up provides an indispensable tool that can get users the help they need while they are off the grid,” he added.
Joswiak describes how Apple “worked tirelessly” to address multiple technical challenges and bring the service to life, in addition to “building a reliable on-the-ground infrastructure.”
How Emergency SOS will work on the iPhone 14
If you are in an emergency situation and you can’t connect to Wi-Fi or cellular, the Emergency SOS feature will offer an easy-to-use interface on the iPhone 14 to get help utilizing a satellite connection.
Apple describes the service:
“A short questionnaire appears to help the user answer vital questions with a few simple taps, which is transmitted to dispatchers in the initial message, to ensure they are able to quickly understand a user’s situation and location.”
Following the questionnaire, the interface guides you to tell you where to point your iPhone to connect and sends the initial message. This will send data including your questionnaire responses; location, including altitude; iPhone battery level; and Medical ID, if enabled.
After initially rolling out in Canada and the U.S., the Emergency SOS via satellite feature will arrive in France, Germany, Ireland, and the UK in December.