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pple is trying to give iPhone users a measure of safety even when they’re in a place without cell service.
On Tuesday, the company launched emergency SOS via satellite, which allows users to text emergency services when they’re off the grid, whether camping in the mountains or driving in a remote area at night. The service is available for iPhone 14 customers and is free for the first two years.
Apple announced the emergency feature in September, when it debuted the iPhone 14 lineup. To enable the service, Apple said last week it would spend $450 million with U.S. companies, with the majority of the money going to Globalstar, a Louisiana-based satellite operator.
It will work for all iPhone 14 users. They do so by pointing their phone to the sky and connecting to one of 24 Globalstar satellites in low Earth orbit.
Apple doesn’t want users testing the service out for non-emergences. The company offered me a demonstration last week so I could explain how to use it.