Apple has announced that it is extending its Emergency SOS via satellite service for an additional free year for existing iPhone 14 users. Originally, Apple offered new iPhone 14 owners two free years of the service, which would have expired in November 2024.
The Emergency SOS via Satellite service will now be free for two more years starting from today or at the time of activation of any iPhone 14 model. This extension applies to iPhone 14 users who have activated their device in any country that supports Emergency SOS via satellite prior to November 15, 2023.
The feature, available on all iPhone 14 and iPhone 15 models, allows users to send text messages to emergency services via satellite when cellular and Wi-Fi coverage is unavailable. Users can also share their location via satellite in the Find My app.
With this service, Apple claims that users can send and receive messages in as little as 15 seconds in clear conditions. To connect and send the initial message, users are prompted to complete a short questionnaire with vital information and select a spot in the sky to point their iPhone. The message includes the user’s questionnaire responses, location, altitude, iPhone battery level, and Medical ID info if set.
Apple advises that the service works best outdoors with a clear view of the sky and warns that foliage or other obstructions may result in delayed or failed emergency messages. Additionally, satellite connectivity may not work in places above 62° latitude.
Apple’s vice president of Worldwide iPhone Product Marketing, Kaiann Drance, expressed gratitude that iPhone 14 and iPhone 15 users can take advantage of this life-saving service for an additional two years. The Emergency SOS via satellite service has already helped save lives around the world, from rescuing a man whose car fell off a cliff in Los Angeles to finding lost hikers in Italy’s Apennine Mountains.