Apple launched the emergency contact feature via satellite in the countries of Australia and New Zealand, as part of the company’s efforts to expand the scope of the new feature available on the iPhone 14 phones.
The emergency contact feature via satellite in the iPhone 14 phones allows the ability to send messages to emergency services in the event that there is no coverage from mobile networks, and there is no Wi-Fi connection, and the feature also allows the ability to share the geographical location via satellite, through the Find My application that is installed by default. on iPhones.
The feature of calling emergency services via satellite works by default on iPhone 14 phones running the iOS 16.4 update or later in the countries of Australia and New Zealand currently, in addition to other countries that were supported earlier.
The option to send a message via satellite appears in the event of contacting the emergency services in the aforementioned countries, in the absence of a connection to mobile networks or Wi-Fi.
There is also a “Demo Mode” within the Settings app on the iPhone, which allows users to try the new feature, without actually contacting emergency services, to practice how to use it when resorting to it.
With this feature, messages can be sent and received with emergency services via satellite within 15 seconds, and a short questionnaire completed by the user will be displayed, to send vital data to the emergency center, such as location, altitude, battery percentage, and medical identification data if available.
Apple said that the feature is designed to work outdoors and clear skies, and also warned that other obstacles – such as tree leaves – can lead to emergency messages taking longer to send or the transmission itself may fail, and satellite communication may not work as well. In places above 62 degrees latitude, such as the northern parts of Canada and Alaska.
With the limitations of the feature and its limitations at times, it is of great importance, especially in emergency situations, which may occur in remote places not covered by communication networks.
The feature to call emergency services via satellite will be free for two years in the countries where it is available, starting from the date of iPhone activation.
It is noteworthy that the service is also available in Austria, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, the United Kingdom, and the United States, and Apple will provide it later in more countries.