The iPhone 13 satellite function is used in emergency situations
The iPhone 13 satellite function is used in emergency situations

Apple's efforts to add satellite capabilities to the iPhone 13 focus primarily on emergencies that allow users to text and report incidents to first responders in areas without cellular network coverage.

The company is developing at least two emergency functions based on satellite networks to bring these functions into future iPhones.

Bloomberg reports that Apple has been working on satellite technology for many years and that a team has been researching the concept since at least 2017.

After analyst Ming-Chi Kuo said that this phone could work with Globalstar's Spectrum, he speculated that the upcoming iPhone will have satellite capabilities this week.

This led to speculation that the iPhone could turn into something similar to a satellite phone, so users don't have to rely on cellular networks.

However, the company's plan was initially limited and aimed at helping clients deal with stressful scenarios.

While the next iPhone may have the hardware needed for satellite communications, it's possible that these features won't be available until next year, and features can be changed or removed prior to release.

The first component is called a satellite emergency message, which allows users to send text messages over a satellite network to emergency services and contacts when there is no cellular signal.

In addition to the standard SMS and iMessage, this functionality is integrated into the messaging app as a third protocol and is displayed as a gray message bubble instead of green or blue.

The second function is a tool for reporting major events such as aircraft accidents and shipwrecks as well as the use of satellite networks.

The satellite messaging tool, codenamed internally Stewie, identifies the message to a shorter length.

Even if the Do Not Disturb setting is activated, the text is automatically transmitted to the emergency contact's phone.

One design in the plan allows users to send messages by typing "Emergency SOS" where they would normally type the name of the contact.

The iPhone 13 satellite function is used in emergency situations

In addition to sending SMS, the service can also handle some calls.

This option is useful in areas where 4G or 5G coverage may not be available, such as: mountainous areas or remote lakes.

As part of its broader effort, the company has considered deploying its own satellites. However, this functionality is likely to depend on the current network.

The second emergency function aims to enable users to report crises. The phone asks you what type of emergency there is, such as a car, ship, plane, or fire.

The system can also receive more specific information, such as people falling into the sea or shipwrecks.

The user asked if he needed search and rescue services. Whether it's suspicious behavior or gunfire, and whether the person has experienced trauma.

When accessing emergency services, this feature can send the user's location and medical ID as well as a virtual card to the health app which contains a list of the user's and user's medical history, age, medications, height and weight.

It can also notify the user's emergency contact, usually the person's family, friends, or doctor.

It is not clear which emergency services or service providers the system will benefit from. This feature set competes with Garmin inReach devices that allow users to send text messages or emergency messages over satellite networks.

These two functions depend on satellite availability and local regulations. It is not designed to be applicable in all countries. Apple has created a mechanism that forces users to exit in a certain direction. This is to help the iPhone communicate with satellites.

The connection to the network is not always instant. Functional tests have shown that the effects can sometimes last up to one minute.

To connect to the satellite, the company needs a special chip. As the company develops its own custom cellular modems for use in the coming years. It still plans to rely on a Qualcomm modem in the near term.

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