iPhone 14 Features Satellite Connectivity

Apple’s iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models both come with support for “Emergency SOS via Satellite,” a new feature that will allow people to call for help when they are in situations when a cellular connection isn’t available.

The new feature was announced alongside the new iPhones during the Far Out event earlier today and it’s one that will be free for the first two years, although a fee will be required afterwards.

Apple says that it will allow people to contact emergency services when they need them, but can’t make a normal telephone call because there is insufficient connection to cellular towers. “The iPhone 14 lineup also introduces Emergency SOS via satellite, which combines custom components deeply integrated with software to allow antennas to connect directly to a satellite, enabling messaging with emergency services when outside of cellular or Wi-Fi coverage,” a statement read.

Satellites are moving targets with low bandwidth, and it can take minutes for messages to get through. Since every second counts, with Emergency SOS via satellite, iPhone front-loads a few vital questions to assess the user’s situation and shows them where to point their phone to connect to a satellite. The initial questionnaire and follow-up messages are then relayed to centers staffed by Apple‑trained specialists who can call for help on the user’s behalf.

The new feature has been rumored for some time and was even expected to debut alongside the iPhone 13 lineup last year. That ultimately didn’t happen, but Apple is now ready to launch it alongside the new iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max when they go on sale on September 16.

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