Apple finally announced the iPhone 14 lineup at its “Far out” event. Among all the new features, such as new cameras and faster chips, both iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro support satellite connectivity for the first time. Read on as we detail how it works and how iPhone 14 users can benefit from this feature.
As rumored, all iPhone 14 models support satellite connectivity – in fact, they’re the first Apple products to have such technology. Apple promotes satellite communication as an emergency feature, so it’s not meant to replace regular cellular connectivity.
Setting up satellite connectivity on iPhone 14
First, satellites are constantly moving and are very high in the sky. This means that you first need to find the signal before you can start communication. The iPhone 14 guides you to point the device in the right direction until the satellite connection is established. Apple notes that this feature only works outdoors with “a clear view of the sky.”
Once your iPhone is connected to the satellite, you can call an emergency service when there’s no cellular signal coverage from your carrier. Satellite connectivity can also be used to share your location with friends and family via Find My.
Since it takes some time to establish the connection with the satellites, iPhone will ask users a few questions while the device is searching for signal. This includes questions such as “What’s the emergency?,” “Who needs help?,” and “Is anyone injured?” Then, iPhone automatically sends a text message with all these details to a local relay station.
Apple says it has created a compression algorithm that makes text messages three times smaller to make communication faster, since bandwidth is low compared to cellular networks.
Satellite connectivity is also integrated by default with Crash Detection, a new iPhone 14 feature that uses motion sensors to detect a car accident and automatically call the emergency services.
At first, satellite connectivity will be available only in the US and Canada starting in November. Apple says that the service will be offered free for two years for iPhone 14 buyers. After that, there will be a cost to enable satellite connectivity, but the price is unclear.
- Apple announces iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Plus: emergency satellite SOS, better battery life, upgraded camera, no SIM tray
- iPhone 14 Pro is here: Interactive ‘Dynamic Island’ notch, Always-On Display, new colors
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