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Apple iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro satellite connectivity explained

During the launch event of iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro claimed that the new Emergency SOS via satellite will be available to users in the US and Canada

Published:Fri, September 09, 2022 6:51pm

By Danny Dcruze

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Apple revealed the new iPhone 14 series at an event called 'Far out'. Every year, the American brand highlights one specific feature that it considers to be groundbreaking. This year, it was Satellite connectivity, something that's actually unheard of in the smartphone world. This new feature is essentially developed for SOS situations when cellular connectivity is not an option. This new feature has been provided with both Pro and non-Pro iPhone 14 smartphones.

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Typically, satellite phones look like wireless phones from the late 80s. They require big antennas in order to connect you to the satellite. However, Apple managed to squeeze in all that apparatus in a relatively slim footprint of the new iPhone 14 series. But how does it all work?

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Apple iPhone 14 series Satellite feature explained

Apple claims that the new iPhone 14 lineup brings the new Emergency SOS via satellite with the help of some custom components that are deeply integrated with the -software. This setup allows antennas to connect directly to a satellite, enabling messaging with emergency services when outside of cellular or Wi-Fi coverage.

Unlike cellular connectivity, Satellite connectivity requires some time to get established. Over and above that, you also need to know where to point the device to get a stable connection. This is because Satellites are moving targets with low bandwidth. It may even take minutes for messages to get through.

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This SOS satellite service will only be used in cases of emergency. In order to make the most out of the little connectivity the user will get, iPhones will front-load a few vital questions to assess the user's situation. Further, the phone will use a specific interface in order to show them where to point their phone to connect to a satellite.

The initial questionnaire and follow-up messages are then relayed to centers staffed by Apple trained specialists who can call for help on the user's behalf. This technology also allows users to manually share their location over satellite with Find My when there is no cellular or Wi-Fi connection, this can be helpful while camping off the grid.

Will it be available in India?

Apple, during the launch event of iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro claimed that the new Emergency SOS via satellite will be available to users in the US and Canada in November, and the service will be free for two years. The company claimed that this feature will also be released to other countries, but there was no specific mention of India.

Apple may be looking at a longer time window for approvals for this new satellite feature to get activated in India. Users who import satellite phones need an approval from DoT to use it.

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