Apple expands Emergency SOS via satellite to six new countries
Apple has expanded the availability of its Emergency SOS via satellite to six new countries today with the release of iOS 16.4, bringing the service to users in Austria, Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Portugal.
With Emergency SOS via satellite, iPhone front-loads 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.
Every model in the iPhone 14 lineup — iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max — supports Emergency SOS via satellite in supported countries and regions. Devices connect directly to a satellite and calls the emergency services if a user is in need of help, even if they are unable to dial 911. With Emergency SOS via satellite, if a user is not able to reach emergency services because no cellular or Wi-Fi coverage is available, an easy-to-use interface appears on iPhone to get the user help via satellite connection.
A short questionnaire appears to help the user answer vital questions with a few taps, which is transmitted to dispatchers in the initial message, to ensure they are able to understand a user’s situation and location.
Following the questionnaire, the interface guides the user where to point their iPhone to connect and sends the initial message. This message includes the user’s questionnaire responses; location, including altitude; iPhone battery level; and Medical ID, if enabled. The questionnaire and follow-up messages are relayed directly via satellite to dispatchers that accept text messages, or to relay centers staffed by Apple‑trained specialists who can call for help on the user’s behalf. The transcript can also be shared with the user’s emergency contacts to keep them informed.