Apple’s Emergency SOS Satellite Service Expands to Six New European Countries
Apple has expanded its Emergency SOS satellite security service to Austria, Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Portugal, bringing further safety to iPhone 14 users in these regions.
This technology enables users to send and receive messages with emergency services even in areas without cellular or Wi-Fi coverage. Additionally, users can also share their location with friends and family via the Find My app when travelling in remote areas.
All iPhone 14 models, including iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro, and iPhone 14 Pro Max, can connect directly to satellites through a combination of specialized hardware and deeply integrated software.
This lifesaving service has already proven its worth since its launch in Canada, France, Germany, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and the United States last year. New iPhone 14 users can enjoy the service free for two years from the activation date, says Apple.
“Emergency SOS via satellite is a great example of technology that could keep our citizens safe,” said Jan van Loosbroek, director of the Dutch National Control Room Organisation.
The Satellite Emergency SOS feature works by holding down the side button and one of the volume buttons until the ‘Emergency SOS’ cursor appears. An easy-to-use interface guides users through the process, ensuring that rescuers receive vital information quickly.
Apple’s text compression algorithm and specialized components enable iPhone 14 to connect to satellites without a bulky antenna and send messages in just 15 seconds under clear sky conditions.
Users can also test the Satellite Emergency SOS demo feature to familiarize themselves with the process without contacting emergency services. Additionally, users can share their location via satellite with the Find My app when travelling in areas with no network coverage.
The Emergency SOS satellite service and Find My satellite service are now available in Austria, Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, and Portugal, in addition to the initial six countries. Users in these regions need to update their devices to iOS 16.4—made available this morning—to get access to the feature.
Alongside iOS 16.4 for iPhone, Apple also released today iPadOS 16.4, macOS Ventura 13.3, watchOS 9.4 and tvOS 16.4, to go with some other updates for older iPhone, iPad and Mac devices.