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Apple iPhone 14 will now offer Satellite Communications


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  • #3759400
    Ryan Jordan
    Admin

    @ryan

    Locale: Central Rockies

    Apple iPhone 14 for Backpacking – Emergency SOS (Satellite) & SMS messaging announced today.

    (so was the new Apple Watch Ultra – which is more durable, has a much better battery life, and is optimized for outdoor use)

    The new Apple iPhone 14 can issue an SOS request via satellite connection if you have no cell service. Now the iPhone 14 antenna can be pointed at a satellite (with a UI to help you optimize this), send an SOS request, and send and receive canned SMS messages (lots of different presets here) to the emergency service provider.

    More: See our commentary about using the Apple iPhone 14 vs. Garmin inReach. – Mods

    The Find My app can also deliver your location routinely to your friends/family via satellite.

    Free for 2 years, then the sat service will require a fee.

    More details here about using emergency SOS and SMS with emergency services.

    So now T-mobile has announced a partnership with SpaceX for satellite connectivity, now we have Apple and Globalstar. Apple’s partnership requires the iPhone. T-Mobile’s uses existing cell chips. Hmm.

    Very limited capability when compared to the Garmin inReach devices, but now that cell phones are waking up to satellite comms, it will be interesting to see what’s on the horizon, especially as the SpaceX, new Globalstar, and Iridium constellations come online.

    I’m intrigued by the newest iteration of ceramic-based smartphone glass used in the iPhone 14 (Pro). I’ve broken so many phones on drops.

    Also has a low-power always on lock screen display, that shuts off when in the dark (pocket). I wonder if it can be customized enough to show an inReach notification or Gaia GPS status update…

    The new chip could increase battery life…

    New display claims 2x brighter in the sun – that could be welcome for backpacking.

    New camera (48mp) seems more capable, offers a pro RAW mode built-in now, has sensor-shift image stabilization (on the main, and 2x and 3x tele lenses, but not the ultra wide – but IS included in timelapse modes), 4K 24 to 60 fps up to 2.8k 60 fps and 1080p 120 fps. Front camera offers up to 4k 60 fps with image stabilization. Very impressive on paper. I read “leaked rumor” that the photos have more noise (smaller pixels in the sensor no doubt) so it will be interesting to see how it compares to the camera on the 13 Pro, which is astounding.

    Might be fun to watch this today 🤔

    #3759406
    Brad Rogers
    BPL Member

    @mocs123

    Locale: Southeast Tennessee

    While this may eventually spell the end for iReach units, that is such a small part of Garmin’s portfolio that I doubt it will hurt it much.

    #3759407
    Ryan Jordan
    Admin

    @ryan

    Locale: Central Rockies

    Maybe the inReach will get a cell SIM 🤣

    #3759411
    humorless
    BPL Member

    @sleeping

    Locale: The Cascades

    I wonder if the siren on the watch, which they say can be heard up to 600 ft. away (yes Roger, I know what ‘up to’ can mean) will be a helpful bear deterrent in certain situations, or if it would just make the bear more curious.

    #3759416
    Mike
    BPL Member

    @skinnypete

    I hate that I have to get an iPhone now.

    #3759417
    Breau
    BPL Member

    @breau

    The Find My app can also deliver your location routinely to your friends/family via satellite.

    Is this only during an active SOS or any time your outside of cellular coverage?

    #3759418
    Breau
    BPL Member

    @breau

    Looks like it works during normal use.

    #3759421
    DWR D
    BPL Member

    @dwr-2

    “I hate that I have to get an iPhone now.”

    Likely that Android, Samsung, et al, will follow…

     

     

    #3759520
    Warren C
    BPL Member

    @bhamsterbpack

    Locale: Cascade Mountains, NW Washington

    Sigh. I had sworn off iPhones. But my Pixel just aged out of security updates, so I’m in the market for a new phone. I’ve also been looking into a Garmin inReach (just for emergencies).

    Looks like I might be going back to iPhone, since it could be at least a year before Android starts having satellite connectivity, and it looks like it will do all the things I wanted from an inReach.

    #3759521
    Murali C
    BPL Member

    @mchinnak

    I have had two occassions with two different Pixel phones where the GPS stopped working in the mountains for couple of days while Apple phones didn’t have any issues…..luckily my route was on my Garmin watch whose GPS was working. I am also thinking I should switch to Apple for that reason plus Airtag etc is a useful feature – not sure if there is a equivalent feature in Android yet that is as good as the Airtag..

    #3759522
    Warren C
    BPL Member

    @bhamsterbpack

    Locale: Cascade Mountains, NW Washington

    Weird to hear about the GPS fail. Never had that problem with my Pixel 3. I’ve always used Tile products as an Airtag substitute. Worked fine for me.

    #3759527
    Arthur
    BPL Member

    @art-r

    If I was on a SAR team, I would be shaking in my boots.  Can you imagine how many false alarms will be produced from this “update”?  Takes me back to the early days when a teen hit the SPOT in the Grand Canyon.  When the helicopter arrived, she asked to order a pizza.   Then she did it again the next evening.  She was arrested.  I have a hard time educating the few people I contact with the Garmin that it is not a phone texting. They get upset when it takes more than 10 seconds to get a response.  And they want pictures.  Educating the masses will be exciting.

    #3759530
    matthew k
    Moderator

    @matthewkphx

    The videos describe a questionnaire about the situation that gets filled out on the phone before the satellite link is established. Perhaps Apple is trying to separate the helicopter pizza orders from real emergencies? That said, Apple did show two people getting lost on a mountain top and having a helicopter rescue them at night. That doesn’t seem like a very likely scenario.

    #3759535
    DWR D
    BPL Member

    @dwr-2

    In the little I have seen written regarding this new iPhone sat com feature, I do not see anything that indicates you can send personal messages to a friend or wife… only see SOS and SAR messaging written about… THAT would make it a lesser utility than the inReach

     

    #3759574
    Ian
    BPL Member

    @10-7

    This is cool.   It’s going to take a few more years for it to be a perfect replacement for InReach, but Garmin’s days are numbered in this niche

    #3759590
    simon t
    BPL Member

    @slippery-salmon

    The A16 bionic in the 14 pro claims 20% less power consumption over the A15.  The A15/iphone 13 was already way ahead of any android offering in terms of efficiency/battery life.

    The sattelite feature is very cool and will save lives.  I’m sure it’ll pave the way for more specialised android phones with more specialised sattelite capability.

     

    #3759598
    SIMULACRA
    BPL Member

    @simulacra

    Locale: Puget Sound

    I had sworn off iPhones. But my Pixel just aged out of security updates..

    I’ve always viewed this as “their” security, not “ours”. I had an iPhone4 until just recently when my carrier would not support its chip any longer.

    #3759698
    Jason G
    BPL Member

    @jasong

    Locale: iceberg lake

    As Ryan posted above,,  T-mobile and Starlink just teamed up to bring similar tech to most phones. So you may not have to get an iphone but might need to switch to tmobile.

    https://www.t-mobile.com/news/un-carrier/t-mobile-takes-coverage-above-and-beyond-with-spacex

    However, it says beta testing won’t be for another year… I think we’d be lucky if its available for the 2024 BP season..

     

    “The vast majority of smartphones already on T-Mobile’s network will be compatible with the new service using the device’s existing radio. No extra equipment to buy. It just works.”

    #3759703
    DWR D
    BPL Member

    @dwr-2

    My impression is T Mobile is best in the cities, not the remote areas… that’s why I have Verizon

    #3759747
    Warren C
    BPL Member

    @bhamsterbpack

    Locale: Cascade Mountains, NW Washington

    T-Mobile’s coverage in the Cascades isn’t great. I can’t speak for other locations. But here it’s Verizon or dead air in a number of spots.

    #3759748
    Dan
    BPL Member

    @dan-s

    Locale: Colorado

    My impression is T Mobile is best in the cities, not the remote areas… that’s why I have Verizon

    That would be far too much of a generalization in Colorado.

    #3759766
    Carrie S
    BPL Member

    @cstrohl2015

    I’m jumping in… ordered one already. As for turning off my Garmin service, I’m not in a hurry… I’ll tell you why… I hope to never need the emergency feature, but I feel confident in it… also, on my Garmin I can check the weather for changes… it’s not instant but it’s pretty awesome. Most important to my family, and my co-hiker friends family too is to be able to stay in touch a little bit. We use this much more often. My husband likes the ‘made it to camp’ and the ‘running late, but we are fine’ messages. Seems like just knowing where my phone is (on find friends) May not be enough. Also, let’s see how dependable that ‘must have open sky to find a satellite’ feature works with its little internal antenna.

    #3759768
    matthew k
    Moderator

    @matthewkphx

    I have similar feelings. My family likes the check-ins and I like the potential to ask questions, get weather or get fire info on my InReach. Until those functions are available on my phone I will keep the Garmin device around.

    I might not carry my InReach on shorter trips that are closer to civilization. In fact I don’t carry the InReach on those usually anyways. It will be nice to have Apple’s satellite connection in those instances.

    Phone is ordered. Looking forward to the satellite connection going live in a couple months. I’m also looking forward to a much better camera situation than my current iPhone Mini.

    #3759769
    Kevin Babione
    BPL Member

    @kbabione

    Locale: Pennsylvania

    I’m sure I’m not alone, but in my house I always have the oldest iPhone.  My wife gets the new one each year and then hers goes to the child (4 daughters) with the oldest model and that oldest model goes to me.  I also have an inReach Mini, but the thought that I could carry one device (I take my phone anyway because I often have cell coverage) is quite appealing.  I may have to bump myself to the top of the replacement list.  Now the question is:  Do I wait for the 15?

    #3759773
    bradmacmt
    BPL Member

    @bradmacmt

    Locale: montana

    Do I wait for the 15?

    I have a 2 year old iPhone 11-pro. I’m not one that needs the latest and greatest of any technology, so my plan is to wait one more year for the 15 – if my battery life holds up!

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