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How to test Emergency SOS via satellite on your iPhone 14

Updated Dec 12th, 2022 4:55PM EST
iPhone 14 Notch
Image: Christian de Looper for BGR

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The iPhone 14 is the first iPhone series to support satellite communications for Emergency SOS services. Apple announced the feature in September, confirming rumors that it was looking into adding satellite connectivity to the iPhone.

But the feature wasn’t available immediately on iPhone 14, with Apple saying it’ll arrive later this year. The company on Tuesday announced that Emergency SOS now supports satellite communications on all four iPhone 14 models.

Moreover, Apple made a demo mode that you can try immediately. And while you should hope you’ll never have to rely on satellite communications to deal with an emergency, you should test it out as soon as possible. You’ll want it to feel familiar in a stressful situation where you might actually want to use it.

The new Emergency SOS feature relies on various technologies that Apple built into the iPhone 14 models. It’s not just antenna components that allowed Apple to connect to satellites from a smartphone that doesn’t look like a bulky satellite handset.

Apple also compressed the average size of messages by about 300%. Everything happens over messages while connecting to first responders via satellite.

Locating a satellite on iPhone 14 for Emergency SOS communication.
Locating a satellite on iPhone 14 for Emergency SOS communication. Image source: Apple Inc.

Emergency SOS via satellite has various clear use cases that iPhone 14 owners should be aware of. You can rely on it when you’re off the grid or have poor cellular connectivity to get in contact with first responders. You might get into an accident while hiking or driving in a rural area with poor connectivity. Moreover, the feature might be helpful during natural disasters when cellular connectivity is unavailable.

You can prepare for that by going to the Settings app, tapping the Emergency SOS menu, and scrolling for the satellite section. In there, tap Tap Demo.

A simulated Emergency SOS chat via satellite on iPhone 14.
A simulated Emergency SOS chat via satellite on iPhone 14. Image source: Apple Inc.

After that, the iPhone will simulate emergency communication via satellite. It’s essential to use this specific procedure to test the feature. You won’t actually be talking with emergency responders. Everything happens on the iPhone 14, replicating a real-life use of Emergency SOS via satellite.

The iPhone will help you locate a satellite in your vicinity and simulate a text-based exchange with would-be first responders. This would let you experience the kind of interaction you’d have with emergency services if you used the feature.

Furthermore, iPhone 14 owners who venture off the grid can use satellite connectivity to send their location via the Find My app to their loved ones. This is another excellent iPhone feature to have on hand. Look for the My Location via the Satellite option in the Find My settings.

Sharing location via satellite on iPhone 14.
Sharing location via satellite on iPhone 14. Image source: Apple Inc.

Only iPhone 14 buyers in the US and Canada can test the Emergency SOS via satellite feature for the time being. But Apple said the service will extend to France, Germany, Ireland, and the UK in December.

If you want a video demo of how to test the Emergency SOS via satellite feature on iPhone, check out MacRumors’ clip below.

More iPhone coverage: For more iPhone news, visit our iPhone 14 guide.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.

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