Almost a month after launching in the US and Canada, Apple’s Satellite Emergency SOS feature is now available to iPhone 14 series users in Germany, the UK, Ireland and France. The service allows to connect to emergency services when cellular and WiFi signals are not available. At least iOS 16.1 is required as the operating system.
The new feature can be accessed directly from the phone app if there is no cellular connection available at the time of dialing. As a user, you will see an “Emergency Text via Satellite” button right on the call screen, which will take you to the emergency questionnaire. Once all the data has been collected, it goes to Apple, who then get in touch with local authorities.
A similar function should also find its way into Samsung’s Galaxy S23 series. One can only welcome this step. There are also reports of situations in which people have been saved by satellite emergency calls via smartphone.
Once activated, you are instructed to hold the phone so that it has a clear view of the satellites. The first message includes the location and responses to the emergency questionnaire. The charge status of the iPhone battery and the user’s medical ID are also transmitted. In addition, the transcripts are shared with the user’s emergency contacts.