A LIFE-SAVING iPhone feature can be just days away from turning it on.
Apple documents indicate that the long-awaited Emergency SOS via Satellite will be activated very soon.
This lets you contact emergency services when you don’t have a regular phone signal.
Discovered in an Apple support document by MacRumorsApple said the feature “would be available with an iOS 16 software update coming in November 2022.”
The latest version is iOS 16.1, which came out at the end of October – and iOS 16.2 is set to follow in December.
So, Apple watchers are expecting us to get the new feature in iOS 16.1.1 which is already being tested.
The new emergency SOS function via satellite may be included in the update, but this has not been confirmed.
Apple says the iPhone 14’s satellite capabilities are expected to go live in November.
What is emergency SOS via satellite?
Emergency SOS via satellite was one of Apple’s key features on the new iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro.
“Emergency SOS via satellite can help you connect to emergency services in exceptional circumstances when no other way to reach emergency services is available,” Apple said.
“If you call or text emergency services and can’t connect because you’re outside of cellular and Wi-Fi coverage, your iPhone will try to connect you via satellite with the help you need. “
Using a satellite connection is not like sending a regular SMS.
For example, even under ideal conditions with a direct view of the sky and horizon, it can take 15 seconds for a message to be sent.
It can take over a minute if you are under trees with light foliage.
And if the view is severely obstructed, it can happen that a message cannot be sent at all.
Tips from Apple for connecting to a satellite
Here are the official tips from Apple:
- Hold your phone naturally. You don’t have to raise your arm or hold up your phone, but don’t put it in a bag or backpack.
- Make sure you are outside with a clear view of the sky and horizon.
- Note that trees with light foliage can slow down the connection, and dense foliage can block it. Hills or mountains, canyons, and tall structures can also block the connection.
- If you need to turn left, right, or move to avoid a blocked signal, your iPhone will guide you — just follow the onscreen instructions.
- The satellite connection can be maintained even when your phone screen is locked.
How does emergency call SOS work via satellite?
First of all, you need to make sure that you are using an iPhone 14 model.
It won’t work as a feature until a new iOS update arrives in November 2022.
And you need to be in a place where there is no cellular or WiFi coverage.
The feature is currently only operational in the United States (including Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands) and Canada.
If you’re an international traveler visiting the US or Canada, the feature will work unless you bought an iPhone in China, Hong Kong, or Macau.
The feature can also be blocked in places above the 62nd parallel – like in very northern parts of Canada and Alaska.
To use it you must try to call emergency services.
If a connection cannot be established, you have the option of sending an emergency SMS via satellite.
You then tap Report an emergency and then choose from several options to describe your emergency.
The feature lets you notify your emergency contacts, as well as emergency services – and share your location.
Your iPhone will then guide you through the process of connecting to a satellite.
Once connected, follow the rest of the on-screen instructions to send your message.
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https://www.thesun.ie/tech/9695404/iphone-emergency-sos-via-satellite-update-release-when/ New iPhone feature could save your life – how to use it to stay safe