iPhone 14's Emergency SOS Satellite Feature Will Arrive Later This Month

The feature, which Apple announced at an event in September, allows you to contact emergency services even when you're out of cell range.

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Andrew Blok has been an editor at CNET covering HVAC and home energy, with a focus on solar, since October 2021. As an environmental journalist, he navigates the changing energy landscape to help people make smart energy decisions. He's a graduate of the Knight Center for Environmental Journalism at Michigan State and has written for several publications in the Great Lakes region, including Great Lakes Now and Environmental Health News, since 2019. You can find him in western Michigan watching birds.
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A screen showing an iPhone with the Emergency SOS feature

Apple unveiled its upcoming Emergency SOS via satellite feature on Sept. 7.

Screenshot by CNET

Your iPhone 14 or 14 Pro will be able to contact emergency services via satellite later this month, Apple said Thursday in a release about its $450 million investment to support the technology. Apple says the service will allow people to contact help and share their location when they're out of cell service range. It will be free to iPhone 14 users for the next two years.

When it's live, Emergency SOS via satellite, as Apple calls the service, will allow people to text emergency services and share some information about their situation with emergency contacts. With a clear view of the sky, messages can be sent via satellite in as little as 15 seconds, Apple said. 

Apple's investment is helping to expand and enhance the satellite and communications network of its partner, Globalstar, which operates a fleet of 24 satellites for communication purposes.

The exact timing of Emergency SOS via satellites release isn't clear, though Apple said it will require an iOS 16 software update coming in November. To start, it will be available to anyone with an iPhone 14 or 14 Pro in the US (including Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands) and Canada. It will exclude iPhones purchased in mainland China, Hong Kong and Macao.

Watch this: Apple's iPhone Comes With SOS Satellite Service