Apple's iPhone 14-exclusive Emergency SOS satellite feature finally arrives Down Under

Share location via satellite iPhone 14
(Image credit: Future)

As one of the biggest features announced during Apple’s iPhone 14 launch event back in September 2022, Emergency SOS via Satellite would go on to prove its worth by literally saving a man's life late last year

Utilising custom-designed hardware components, the iPhone 14-exclusive feature allows users in distress to contact emergency services via satellite when Wi-Fi or cellular access is unavailable.

While iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro owners in the US, Canada and parts of Europe have had access to the life-saving feature since November last year, Aussies and Kiwis have been left waiting.

Thankfully, the wait is finally over — from today (May 15), Apple has officially launched its Emergency SOS via Satellite feature in Australia and New Zealand, and users will receive the first two years of the service for free (starting now for existing iPhone 14 owners or at the time of activation on new handsets).

In addition to contacting emergency services, the feature will also allow users to share their location via satellite using the Find My app — great for keeping friends and family updated on your whereabouts when travelling in areas without coverage.

Emergency SOS via Satellite: How it works

Apple's Emergency SOS via Satellite feature will be activated automatically if a user attempts to call 000 in Australia (or 111 in New Zealand) without cellular or Wi-Fi coverage.

When activated, the user will be presented with an easy-to-use interface featuring a short list of vital questions (regarding your location, the nature of the emergency, and so on) which can be answered with a few simple taps.

Once these questions are answered, the user will be asked to point their iPhone 14 to the sky — this will help form a connection with a satellite so that your SOS message can be sent.

In addition to the use case described above, Emergency SOS via Satellite will also work with other iPhone and Apple Watch safety features, such as Crash Detection and Fall Detection.

Emergency SOS via Satellite and Find My via Satellite are exclusive to iPhone 14 handsets, and require iOS 16.4 or later in order to work.

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Stephen Lambrechts

Stephen Lambrechts is the Managing Editor of Tom's Guide AU and has written professionally across the categories of tech, film, television and gaming for the last 15 years. Before Tom's Guide, he spent several years as a Senior Journalist at TechRadar, had a brief stint as Editor in Chief at Official Xbox Magazine Australia, and has written for such publications as APC, TechLife Australia, T3, FilmInk, AskMen, Daily Telegraph and IGN. He's an expert when it comes to smartphones, TVs, gaming and streaming. In his spare time, he enjoys watching obscure horror movies on physical media, keeping an eye on the latest retro sneaker releases and listening to vinyl. Occasionally, he also indulges in other non-hipster stuff, like hiking.