iPhone Emergency SOS via Satelite

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phil-t

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Anyone see this news today? New Apple iPhone Emergency SOS via Satelite We are planning an RV trip to Alaska via Canada next summer and will be in some pretty remote places. We've been looking at the Garmin InReach service/devices but it's looking like we might get similar capabilities on our newest iPhone. Looks like the newest iPhone 14 will include this for no additional cost and will be available to others for a subscription fee.
 
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uchu

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The quoted link appears to be broken.

It seems to be a useful emergency feature. Apple is partnering with Globastar for this and it's only offered (for now) in the US and Canada.
 

uchu

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John From Detroit

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Yup but only selected models (The latest of course) will have that ability.
I've read a whole lot of blather about it.. dang little intelegent. Most folks seem to think that a hand held device hath not the power to hit the bird in the sky...
On the other hand.... I have hand held devices that have no problem at all doing just that... You can talk to the ISS on a hand held radio in fact (I have not done it but that's mostly because I've not tried)..
 

UTTransplant

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We looked at that, and then we decided on getting a Garmin In-Reach for remote outings when by ourselves. Proven technology now beat unproven coming “soon,” at least for our applocation.
 

JudyJB

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I did notice that today. I had one of those "I've fallen and can't get up" devices, but then discovered it was not as described to me when i bought it because it required a good cell signal. I wanted it so I could go off on a walk or short hike without worrying about someone finding me if I got injured. I cancelled it because I figured I could just as well use my cell phone. (Most of these devices, I was told, are not very sensitive to the falls and require you to push a button.)

This is supposed to come out soon, so I will be looking at it closely. I know it requires a clear path through trees, but that is better than nothing at all if I am in a place without a cell signal.
 
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phil-t

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Will be good to see some valid reviews and comparisons of the iPhone and InReach technologies; and to include the Android version, if it and when it materializes.
Very cool technology that has a some really good applications.
 

Don C

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From your link:

Emergency SOS via satellite availability​

To use Emergency SOS via satellite (or share your location via satellite):
  • You need iPhone 14 or iPhone 14 Pro with iOS 16.1 or later.
  • You also need to be in a place with no cellular and Wi-Fi coverage.
  • Emergency SOS via satellite is available only in the U.S. (including Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands) and Canada.
  • International travelers who visit the U.S. and Canada can use Emergency SOS via satellite, except if they bought their phone in China mainland, Hong Kong, or Macao. Emergency SOS via satellite isn't offered on iPhone models purchased in China mainland, Hong Kong, or Macao.
  • Emergency SOS via satellite isn't available in Guam or American Samoa.
  • Satellite connection might not work in places above 62° latitude, such as northern parts of Canada and Alaska.
The way I read this, the phone operation would be questionable north of Talkeetna.

I used the inReach when we went to Alaska. Main feature that we used was the tracking. Very few established hiking trails in Alaska so we would mark out location before heading out. By following the tracking points we could return to our marked location. Also shared tracking location with the granddaughters and they enjoyed following are adventure from Michigan to Alaska.
 

PaulBates

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I used the in-reach mini last year rafting the grand canyon...no mobile service. I did a lot of web searching before buying and considering if the negative reports were self-inflicted problems, which all appeared to be.. eg expecting it to be what it clearly was not.

There are limitations, big ones: small 140 character message limits. When topology blocked view of the sky, like down in a canyon, it can take 15 minutes for the little 140 character message to make it

But it did work. I got it to send a daily activity status message to my adult children = "since you got this, I'm still alive" 🤪😂. I turned it on once at the end of day to receive messages and send my message... In the 19 days it only used half of it's battery charge using it that way.

Not cheap... You pay a yearly fee for the privilege of having an iridium account at all, then for the actual monthly service plan (can be turned on/off). Also individual, personal insurance for costs associated with pressing the red button and having a helicopter land on you... You can lend the in-reach to someone else but they can not use that insurance.

Summary: I don't doubt Apple, Google will build a good product... But I would let others use it and report how good the whole service is and how expensive it really is before taking that leap
 
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Isaac-1

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There are at least 2 or 3 other systems coming soon, with at least one that supports 2 way limited texting in the public beta testing phase now.
 

DonTom

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I have the Spot Messenger and the inReach always ready to go, but rarely used.

The Spot can call for a Tow truck when out of cell range.

The in-Reach can comminate with others when there is no cell service.

I won't leave home without both plus my Cell phone and portable hotspot.

-Don- Auburn, CA
 

Frank B

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We still have one of the original Globalstar handheld satellite phones. (GSP-1600) I used it for a while for 'just in case', but there is something that everyone should know: Globalstar's satellite constellation is old, slow, and has holes in it.

I dropped my Globalstar subscription many years ago because it was so unreliable. And that was with a purpose-built satellite phone with directional satellite antenna. I can't imagine very good performance from the sort of antenna they could pack in a smartphone.

Globalstar announced a few years ago that they had launched additional satellites to plug the holes in their constellation. At that point I thought I would try them again. Performance wasn't really that much better.
 

John From Detroit

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I have a kenwood TS-2000, KAT-1 and a long hunk of wire.
Or in my jeep a collection of Ham Sticks

Out of range...Naa.. Won't happen
What's the range.. Well last time I plugged it in I was in Flint (Downtown area)
The other guy was near Pheonix.. yes AZ Solid copy sounded next door.
100 watts and a wire.. that's all I used 100 watts and a wire.
 

DonTom

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Globalstar announced a few years ago that they had launched additional satellites to plug the holes in their constellation.
One of their major problems is their system is too close to the earth, so it takes a lot of wide sky unless they have a satellite right above your head at the time.

But what doesn't work at any location can work a few minutes later since those satellites are not stationary in respect to the earth.

One of the issues with the Spot is that it is a one-way device. Kinda. It receives only the very high system for the location but sends to a much lower system with no acknowledgment that the signal was received by anything. You have to guess if the signal got out at all.

-Don- Reno, NV
 

Krazeehorse33

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Kenton Ohio
Not to drift here but my apple watch (gen 3 I think) dialed 911 when they did a cardioversion on me in an ER. Staff couldn't figure out what was going on. They called my wife in and she kinda helped them figure out what was going on. Funny.
 

PaulBates

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Samsung appears to be releasing it's next flagship smartphone with satellite communication capability based on the iridium low orbit satellites that Garmin inreach uses. As Huawei already makes a phone with similar capability, it looks like it's just a matter of a little time before this is a standard feature in high end/flagship phones:

Samsung is working with Iridium Communications to leverage the latter's 66 low-orbit communication satellites to bring the feature to Galaxy S23 series users. Unlike Apple's implementation, which only offers emergency communications over satellite, Samsung's satellite communications feature could let users send text messages and low-resolution images. The company has reportedly overcome all technical hurdles to pack a new modem-RF system capable of satellite communication on the devices.

It's worth noting that Huawei already offers a similar satellite communication feature on the Mate 50 series, which utilizes Beidou satellites to help users send and receive limited text messages. At the moment, it isn't clear if Samsung will offer the feature for free, like Apple, or charge users for sending messages and media over a satellite connection.


 
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