(Pocket-lint) – Apple confirms that its Emergency SOS via Satellite feature is live in the United States and Canada from 15 November and in some European countries in December.
The feature, which Apple says will allow people to summon help when out of range of cellular and Wi-Fi connectivity, is available on all iPhone 14 models. Apple had previously said that the feature would go live in the United States in November, but hadn’t said when other countries would come online.
Apple has confirmed that Emergency SOS via Satellite will come to the U.K., France, Germany, and Ireland in December although it hasn’t confirmed which date so far. The company did confirm that those who want to take advantage of the feature will need to have iOS 16.1 or later installed – so make sure you’re all squared away before going on your next hiking trip.
The Emergency SOS via Satellite feature uses Globalstar satellites and is capable of sending a small amount of data to a dispatcher who can then relay that data to emergency services. Apple says it’s worked with emergency professionals to allow it to collect the information they need while reducing the amount of data that needs to be sent to satellites. As a result, just 15 seconds of clear sky will be needed for an emergency message to be transmitted.
Apple has also confirmed that a demo mode will be available to allow people to test the feature without generating an emergency services transmission – a great way to familiarise yourself with how the feature works before it’s needed.
Writing by Oliver Haslam.