Apple’s satellites and ground stations are almost ready for you to use them.
One of the biggest improvements to the iPhone 14 was the introduction of a new Satellite SOS feature, allowing you to get help and access to emergency services outside of cell tower range. Soon, you’ll actually be able to use it.
Apple has announced that its Satellite SOS feature will roll out to iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro units “later this month.” Apple’s announcement posts lay out how the technology is being made possible, and how it’ll work. The company is partnering with Globalstar, which operates 24 satellites in low-earth orbit.
Whenever an iPhone 14 makes a Satellite SOS request, it’ll tap into one of Globalstar’s satellites. The message will then be routed to a ground station, with many located at key locations around the world. The message will then be appropriately delivered to emergency services from these locations, allowing you to get help from the outside world even if you’re stranded in the middle of nowhere.
It’s clear why the feature needed a little more time in the oven — although the satellites themselves have already been in orbit for some time, the ground stations, operated by Apple, need to be up to speed to handle requests from users. The antennas used for these stations are manufactured by Cobham Satcom specifically for Apple.
You’ll be able to use it later this month — it’ll likely be enabled with an upcoming iOS update, so keep an eye out for that.