Tap Away for Help
Apple has announced that it will extend the availability of its Emergency SOS via Satellite service for iPhone 14 users. Originally, the service was supposed to be free for two years after activating an eligible iPhone 14, but Apple has extended that window to three years. This means that if something goes wrong while you're off the grid, getting help is just a tap away.
Emergency SOS via Satellite requires any iPhone 14 or 15 model that's running iOS 16.4 or later. This includes the following phone models:
The service works regardless of where you purchased your device, even if satellite connectivity hasn't (yet) launched in your home country. The only exceptions are iPhones purchased in mainland China, Hong Kong, and Macau, as well as a few other countries. Satellite service is available in several countries, including the U.S.
Stay Connected in Emergencies
Whether you're camping in a remote location, driving on backcountry roads, or hiking in a national park, your iPhone 14 or 15 can communicate with first responders using satellites in case of an emergency. Even if you don't need emergency help, Apple's satellite service can help reassure loved ones back home that everything is OK.
While you can't make calls or send text messages using Apple's satellite connectivity, you can upload your current location to the Find My app when you're off the grid. This feature is especially useful for those exploring remote locations or trekking outdoors who want to provide location updates to friends and family members.
How It Works
To use the Emergency SOS via Satellite feature, you'll connect to one of Globalstar's 24 satellites in low-Earth orbit. The service is free for two years starting when any new iPhone 15 model is activated. Apple hasn't announced how much the feature will cost after the free introductory period ends.
Prepare for Emergencies
Apple has built a demo of the new satellite connectivity feature directly into the settings app, allowing users to practice using the feature and select emergency contacts. It's important to prepare for emergencies by running through the steps of what you'd do in case disaster strikes.
Roadside Assistance via Satellite
In addition to Emergency SOS via Satellite, Apple has introduced another safety-related satellite feature called Roadside Assistance via Satellite. This service connects iPhone 14 and 15 users in the U.S. to AAA roadside assistance when they're not in the range of a cellular network. The service is free for two years after activating your iPhone, but separate AAA service charges may apply for non-AAA members.
For more information and details on using the Emergency SOS via Satellite service, read Apple's detailed step-by-step guide.
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