Every year, Apple renews its product line, from iPhones to Macs. As usual, the company is preparing to release its next iPhones this fall. Unlike last year, however, this year’s iPhone lineup appears to be on track for the usual September launch schedule.
As we get closer to the launch date, rumors are circulating about what to expect from the California tech giant. One of the most exciting rumors is the likelihood of a future iPhone with two new features that can help users in an emergency.
About New iPhone Emergency Features
According to a Bloomberg report by Mark Gurman, Apple is working on satellite communication support in its future iPhones.
Support for satellite communications, once available, would allow iPhone users to take advantage of two key emergency features when they need help.
Both features include an emergency satellite message and a way to report disasters. The report follows a report by TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, a trusted source on Apple’s unreleased products, which says the next iPhone could run on the spectrum of Globalstar Inc.
Both features, if revealed, will give the Garmin inReach satellite communication device good value for money. These will come in addition to a host of emergency features already available on the iPhone.
Apple plans to release new features for future iPhones, Gurman said, citing a source familiar with the matter.
This isn’t the first time Apple has worked on satellite support for the iPhone. In 2019, a Bloomberg rumor claimed that the company was developing satellite technology for its iPhones. At the time, Gurman said Apple hoped to provide satellite support within five years.
We have detailed the two new features below.
1. Emergency message via satellite
With Satellite Emergency Message, you will be able to text first responders using your iPhone via satellite. According to the Bloomberg report, the Emergency Satellite Message will also work when sending messages to your emergency contacts.
However, the feature will only act as a fallback if the cellular network in your area is not available.
Satellite Emergency Message will be added as a third communication protocol alongside iMessage and the good old SMS protocol in Messages app on iPhone.
Apple could also add a new color for the message bubbles next to blue and green for iMessage and SMS, respectively. All messages sent by satellite will have a gray bubble.
Codename Stewie, the feature will limit the length of messages. It will also automatically alert the recipient even if productivity features like do not disturb mode are enabled.
It could also take over phone calls in the future, the report adds. With call support, the Satellite Emergency Message would complement the Emergency SOS feature available on iPhones.
2. A new feature to report emergencies
In addition to the satellite emergency message, future iPhones could also include a way to report emergencies. It could be any major calamity, whether it be a plane crash, a car crash or the sinking of a ship.
Your iPhone will ask you for a variety of information, ranging from general issues like the type of emergency to details like if you’ve been seriously injured or if search and rescue services are needed.
In return, your iPhone will contact emergency services with the information you provided about the situation as well as other necessary details, such as your location. Better yet, if you’ve set up a Medical ID in Apple’s Health app, your iPhone will also provide other vital information from your profile. You can also take advantage of this feature to seek help from your emergency contacts, whether they are a doctor or a close family member.
The iPhone is increasingly becoming an essential device
If these two features are introduced, your iPhone will become more of an essential device than ever. For now, nothing is official and it seems that Apple is still studying various aspects before preparing for an official launch, if necessary. For example, the company will need to partner with strategic companies and service providers.
Apple will also need specialized hardware to achieve this. On that front, Bloomberg says the iPhone 13 might have the necessary hardware. However, it’s unlikely to be on the next iPhone; a second source told Bloomberg that the features might not be ready until next year.
In addition, Apple could change features here and there or, worse yet, abandon the project altogether. So let’s wait and see.
Apple is set to unveil the next iPhone in September, and we’ve already decided what we want to see in it.
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