The iPhone 14 range has made quite a stir since arriving just a few months ago. We've seen the Dynamic Island come to life on the iPhone 14 Pro and the iPhone 14 Pro Max, the iPhone 14 Plus got slated for replacing the iPhone 13 Mini, and now, Covid-19 outbreaks at one of the largest iPhone manufacturing facilities mean you may miss out on getting one altogether.
But for those with an iPhone 14, or those who are determined to get their hands on one, there is good news. Apple is releasing a brand new feature which could save many lives, and they've now confirmed that the update is coming to the UK and parts of Europe in December.
Last week, I wrote about Emergency SOS via Satellite. This revolutionary feature is has just rolled out to iPhone 14 users in the USA and Canada, and Apple has confirmed that users in France, Germany, Ireland and the UK will also get the feature from next month.
That's not only a fantastic new feature, but it's one that could save your life.
How does Emergency SOS via Satellite work?
Emergency SOS via Satellite enables iPhone 14 users to send a distress signal, even when outside of usual cellular networks. That means if you're stranded on a mountain, or your car breaks down in the middle of nowhere, you can get help. The feature even shares your location and Medical ID with the emergency services, to make sure you get the help you need.
To operate it, you make a call to the local emergency services number, as you normally would. If that call fails because of insufficient signal strength, the phone will give you the option to send an emergency text.
You'll need to select the option that best applies to you from Vehicle Issue, Sickness or Injury, Crime, Lost or Trapped, and Fire. Once selected, the phone displays a radar screen which will direct you towards your nearest satellite, turning green to indicate you're in the correct position.
Once in place, the message will send in as little as 15 seconds, and responses will come through to keep you updated. Apple has worked some magic on their compression algorithm to keep the messages as small as possible, making them quicker to send.
I'm not one to gush over gimmicky new features, but this is genuinely brilliant. If I'm spending around £1,000 on a phone, I want it to be equipped with features that can help me in situations where I would otherwise be left short. There is no greater example of that that a feature which could save your life.
It's a phenomenal incentive to upgrade to the latest model. When considering what makes the best iPhone, we can argue day and night about cameras and operating systems, but features like this will make a much more meaningful difference when you find yourself in the kind of situation where you need to use it. I imagine it will pair brilliantly with the Apple Watch Ultra, too, for those who like to explore extreme environments.
In short, it doesn't matter if you're up the creek without a paddle, as long as you're with your iPhone 14.