Apple hints that this iOS 16 update will enable satellite connectivity on iPhone 14 line

Apple hints that this iOS 16 update will enable satellite connectivity on iPhone 14 line
During the "Far out" event in September, Apple made a big deal about the ability of all four iPhone 14 models to connect to a satellite. This allows users to send a text to emergency services in case they are involved in an accident that took place in an area without cellular service or Wi-Fi connectivity. When the new phones were released, they were awaiting an update that Apple said would be taking place sometime in November.

Apple repeats this on a support page; on the website, the company states, "To use Emergency SOS via satellite, you need an iPhone 14 model. It will also require an iOS 16 software update coming in November 2022." Well, we know it can't be iOS 16.1 because that update was released in October. And Bloomberg's Mark Gurman has already stated that he expects a mid-December release of iOS 16.2.

Apple will soon disseminate the iOS update that will allow iPhone 14 models to connect to satellites to report an emergency

According to MacRumors, we should then expect the update for Emergency SOS via satellite to surface with the iOS 16.1.1 update that Apple is already testing. This update includes a fix to correct issues related to Wi-Fi connectivity and another fix for an issue dealing with Apple's advertising framework SKAdNetwork. With the holiday season fast approaching, Apple would probably want Emergency SOS via satellite to be available to iPhone 14 users before they start traveling on the roads for Thanksgiving dinner.

Apple's support page suggests that if you're in an emergency, try to call for help at first even if it appears as though there is no cellular connection. If the call cannot be placed, the next step is to text emergency services via satellite. Reporting an emergency requires that you tap Emergency Text via Satellite. You can also go to Messages to text 911 or SOS, then tap Emergency Services. Press on "Report Emergency."

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You'll be asked to answer simple questions about the nature of your emergency. You can also have your emergency contacts notified and told your location and what emergency you're facing.

There must be no cellular or Wi-Fi service in the area for satellite connectivity to be an option

Apple explains, "Once you’re connected, your iPhone starts a text conversation with emergency responders by sharing critical information like your Medical ID and emergency contact information (if you have set them up), the emergency questionnaire answers, your location (including elevation), and remaining battery life for your iPhone." You should also know that if you have a clear view of the sky, messages can get through in only 15 seconds. If the signal has to go through trees with light or medium foliage, it might take over a minute for a message to be sent.

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Keep in mind that for Emergency SOS via satellite to work, you must be in a place with no cellular and Wi-Fi coverage. And text messages sent using Emergency SOS via satellite are encrypted which means that only the sender and the recipient of the messages know what they say. A satellite connection will be maintained even if your iPhone screen is locked. And if you are blocked and don't have a clear line of sight to the satellite, the iPhone will tell you whether you need to turn to the left or turn to the right.

So with only 24 days left in the month, on one of those days, Apple is expected to release the iOS update that will enable iPhone 14 users to connect to a satellite system to report an emergency if there is no other way to do so. The service will be free for the first two years, says Apple, which would indicate that the company plans on charging for the feature after that time period expires.

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