Apple’s iOS 16.1 to feature ‘Satellite Connection Demo’ for iPhone 14 series owners

The iPhone 14 series 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. Apple’s iOS 16.1 to will feature a “Satellite Connection Demo,” so that iPhone 14 series owners can try out the satellite connection without actually calling / tying up emergency services.

Boeing 702X satellite (image: Boeing)
Boeing 702X satellite (image: Boeing)

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. This breakthrough technology also allows users to manually share their location over satellite with Find My when there is no cellular or Wi-Fi connection, providing a sense of security when hiking or camping off the grid. Emergency SOS via satellite will be available to users in the US and Canada in November, and the service will be free for two years.

Filipe Espósito for 9to5Mac:

With this feature, users will be able to see how Emergency SOS via Satellite works without having to go to a remote area without Wi-Fi and cellular signal. Code seen by 9to5Mac suggests that the demo feature will work pretty much the same way as Emergency SOS via Satellite, so it can also instruct users on how to use it in a real-life situation.

Satellite Connection Demo can be accessed at any time via the Emergency SOS menu within the Settings app once it becomes available. Users will need to be outside and have a clear view of the sky to find the satellite connection.

Of course, after the iPhone connects to the satellite, it won’t call emergency services when you’re using the demo feature. This is extremely important so that people don’t call these services just for fun or curiosity.

MacDailyNews Take: As the vast majority are going to want to try out Emergency SOS via satellite when they get their new iPhone 14 models, this “Satellite Connection Demo” is absolute must (and should have already been available in iOS 16.0 when the new iPhones began to hit users’ hands on September 16th, but, you know, “working” from home is just as productive as going into the office to do actual work 😉😉).

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