iPhone 14 users are about to get a fantastic free upgrade

There's a new iPhone feature and it could save many lives

iPhone 14 Pro
(Image credit: Apple)

The iPhone 14 range was released a few months ago, and despite some issues with availability for the Pro models – the iPhone 14 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro Max – the range has been generally well received.

Among a host of new features, the iPhone 14 range saw Dynamic Island launch on the Pro models, ditching the hardware notch in favour of a hole punch camera cut-out and a software notch that moves and morphs to display useful information.

Now, another new feature is coming to all iPhone 14 models – and it has the potential to save your life. It's called Emergency SOS via Satellite, and this is everything you need to know.

What is Emergency SOS via Satellite?

Emergency SOS via Satellite is a feature that will be available on the iPhone 14, which enables you to send text messages via a nearby satellite – even when outside of usual cellular range. In Apple's promotional video, users are shown stranded atop a mountain. 

When their call to the emergency services fails, the option appears to make an emergency text via satellite. You'll be prompted to answer a couple of questions about your emergency situation, before the screen adjusts to depict a radar. This directs you towards the nearest satellite and will flash up green when you're pointed in the right direction. Hold it there, and a text message will be sent to an appropriate emergency service, along with your location and Medical ID.

Apple has worked some magic on their compression algorithm, to help send messages as fast as possible. They say that in ideal conditions, a message can send in as little as 15 seconds.  

It's set to be released later this month, as part of an iOS 16 update.

Where does Emergency SOS via Satellite work?

At launch, the service will work in the United States and Canada. However, there are plans to add more countries shortly after, and throughout the next year. 

One point to note is that the service may not work in areas above 62° latitude, which encompasses Northern Canada and most of Alaska.

Apple also say that it's designed to be used with a clear view of the sky and the horizon. If your view is obscured by foliage or buildings, the time taken to send your message may increase.

Sam Cross
Staff Writer

Online news writer at T3.com, Sam has five years of experience in online and print journalism, with work featured in publications like Metro and Last Word on Sports. After years writing about music and football, Sam now turns his hand to bringing you news about new phones, smart home products, smart watches, laptops and TVs. Sam is a longtime fan and user of Apple products, including iPhones, MacBooks and Apple Watches.He’s also T3’s resident football expert, bringing you everything you need to know about the big games, including how to watch them. In his spare time, Sam is a keen guitarist, watch lover and (very) amateur golfer.