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Apple iPhone 14 will now offer Satellite Communications


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Viewing 17 posts - 26 through 42 (of 42 total)
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  • #3759774
    Ian Rae
    BPL Member

    @iancrae

    Locale: North Cascades

    As an iPhone and InReach mini user, I can see utility in having both. We tend to do most of our backpacking as a family (with two increasingly independent kids.) My wife and I are already packing phones, so when we upgrade to the 14, that will give us 3 satellite devices in the group, which if nothing else is a great backup. If the phones work out in practice, we could drop the mini (at least on less remote trips.)

    #3759829
    Breau
    BPL Member

    @breau

    Do I wait for the 15?

    You can let the iPhone 14 users get all of the bugs sorted out for the first year.

    #3759943
    Mike M
    BPL Member

    @mtwarden

    Locale: Montana

    While it’s certainly welcomed technology; it’s got a ways to go before it replaces my inReach.  Having emergency coverage with just a cell phone is great; but (knock on wood) I’ve never had to hit the SOS button on my inReach.  What I have done however is let my wife know I’m going to be a day late; let her know that I’m bailing on my original plan and have her pick me up at another location; confer with a buddy (via inReach to inReach) I’m backpacking with after we got separated; texting buddies I have an elk down and need help packing it out (and vice versa)- the list goes on and on.

    So yeah cool technology, but the inReach is far from dead- yet anyways.

    #3759952
    W I S N E R !
    BPL Member

    @xnomanx

    +1 Mike.

    I also happen to believe two separate devices might be a bonus in this case. Given my iPhone is also my camera and mapping tool, it’s out and in my hands a lot. In my estimation the chance of loss/breakage is far higher than a smaller device (Zoleo in my case) that can stay safely stored/secured.

    #3759958
    Chris FormyDuval
    BPL Member

    @chform

    Locale: RTP

    Regarding battery life, if battery health is still showing ok a full reset and restore can improve battery life. Cleans up old stuff using power.

    #3759963
    Jim C
    BPL Member

    @jimcasey1768

    I will roll with my InReach Mini for another year, I think, ditching the single application of an InReach is attractive, for me. Apple typically improves new features in future iterations, so I would expect for the Sat antenna to get better/more powerful moving forward. I live in TX and I backpack a lot in West Texas, so the need to have a view of the sky, not an issue for me. I do think it spells the end for dedicated satellite messengers.

    #3760189
    Black Magic
    BPL Member

    @blackmagic

    I share the concerns about misuse of SAR, and I hope Apple will be doing _something_ to support SAR budgets now that everyone and their mother has an emergency locator. But that’s the thing in this discussion that’s missing forest for the trees: until now, you were lucky if one person in a group brought their inReach, and had remembered to re-activate it. The iPhone is the most popular phone in the world. While it does not replace the functionality of an inReach, it’s now likely that you’ll have one, two, or literally everyone in the group with their own “backup” emergency locator. That’s a huge improvement over the status quo ante.

    #3760205
    Joonas
    BPL Member

    @jojule

    Garmin still have an ace in their sleeve to extend inreach lifespan: put Fenix 7 touch display and maps in inreach mini and the device application would be extended to navigation.

    Even better would be to put InReach antenna in Fenix (strap?), but I doubt that would be technically feasible.

     

    #3760206
    Joonas
    BPL Member

    @jojule

    Furthermore, Garmin should up their game on messaging: SMS number and communication over internet when available is a no-brainer. Also, it would drive people to more expensive plans. Just copy Zoleo.

    #3760220
    Breau
    BPL Member

    @breau

    Garmin Explore could also use a bit of work.

    #3760525
    Frederick Hecht
    BPL Member

    @rickhecht

    I have had a major issue with my Garmin InReach that is spurring my interest in using an iPhone 14 instead: major issues with getting GPS location in the Pacific Northwest. I’m wondering if other users have experienced this. I just tried to use it to send messages with my location during a 200 mile run in the southern Washington Cascades (Bigfoot 200). To conserve battery life, I kept the InReach off until I wanted to send/check messages. I set it to send my location with the message so my crew could see where I was when I sent the message. Every time I tried to send a message I got a message from the device that it had “poor GPS signal. Please find a location with a clear view of the southern sky.” This was a major challenge as I was traveling through forested areas where there were not open views of the southern skies for miles. Even having the device on for 30 minutes or more and pausing for 5 minutes or more in the most open location I could find along the trail did not work to get a GPS location. After 10 different attempts over three days I finally gave up trying to use the device.

    I called Garmin to go over this problem. They assured me this was unlikely to be a defective device but a known challenge for the InReach. They told me Garmin optimized the InReach for battery life, but this makes it less facile at locking onto a GPS location. While this is somewhat improved in the 2nd generation (I have a 1st generation), the person I talked with did not think getting a newer device would fix the problem. Instead, he suggested turning on internal tracking (saving location internally but not sending location via satellite) to keep the device tracking location while I was using it, and make sure it got a location when there was open sky. Once it gets a location, it is easier to get a nearby location. I’ve tried this and while there were still delays and problems when there was heavy tree cover, it did ultimately work. The internal tracking, however, decreases battery life. Overall, this has left me with serious concerns about the reliability of the InReach device, particularly in areas like the Pacific Northwest that are heavily forested. If I’m actually injured, I am not likely to be able to “move to a location with an open view of the Southern sky.” If the device is not locked onto a GPS location, I’m in trouble. I fail to understand why my Garmin Forerunner can rapidly locate my GPS location, while Garmin can’t engineer a heavier InReach device to get a GPS location more reliably. I frequently use my iPhone with GPS map apps and have not had substantial problems getting a location. If I’m going to keep using an InReach device in the future, it has to do a much more reliable job of getting a GPS location.

    #3760527
    Jerry Adams
    BPL Member

    @retiredjerry

    Locale: Oregon and Washington

    I have an inreach

    Sometimes, I get satellite connection and gps location within a few minutes

    Sometimes, it can take an hour or even more.  Frustrating, because my android phone gets gps location always within a couple minutes

    I use my inreach once a day, to let my wife know where I am and I’m safe.  And to give SAR a clue where I might be if something bad happens.

    In Oregon, Washington, northern California

    #3760528
    Jerry Adams
    BPL Member

    @retiredjerry

    Locale: Oregon and Washington

    On my last trip, each night, it took about 10 minutes to get satellite communication, gps location, and send a message.  Some trips it takes an hour+

    I don’t think obstacles like trees and cliffs explains it

    Maybe, gps satellites go out and are replaced by new ones.  When it takes forever, there are fewer satellites available.  Or something.  Although the android gps always finds gps location within a few minutes.

    If I wait two hours, the inreach always works so it doesn’t matter to me.

    #3760529
    Philip Tschersich
    BPL Member

    @philip-ak

    Locale: Kodiak Alaska

    The iPhone might have faster and better satellite acquisition via GPS for location information, but the [email protected]’s antenna is much better for data transfer for satellite messaging functions. If you are having a hard time getting a GPS location on your [email protected] because of forest canopy, you are probably also unlikely to be able to send any sort of SOS message via the iPhone 14.

    #3760531
    Joonas
    BPL Member

    @jojule

    I have been using InReach for many years – including InReach mini (1) since its launch. I have not experienced major issues with GPS: It is usually slow – definitely slower than modern GNSS devices (including iPhone and mini 2) – but works well enough me to use it.

    That said, I sold my InReach mini with the plan of relying on iPhone 14 for emergency messaging. Idea there was to save $144 / year subscription cost and have one less device to charge and worry about.

    Unfortunately iPhone is strictly for emergency help requests and (apparently) coordinate sharing over Find my network. My use-case is to communicate with family that I am ok, if I am late or something else non-critical. None of that is possible with iPhone satellite communications. This would reduce iPhone essentially for emergency use only. Furthermore, communications are apparently slow and finicky: only working with clear view of the sky and actively pointing the phone to right direction as guided by the phone. In optimal case that might take 15 sec. But apparently it can also take minutes.

    All this might change if Starlink — T-mobile collaboration is able to get a reliable 5G messaging system on the market somewhere in 2024 (they aim for a limited beta starting in end of 2023). That would essentially kill InReach and similar devices.

    After contemplating my hasty selling of InReach before iPhone satellite communication is even launched (coming later this year), I ordered InReach mini 2. If Starlink is able to deliver a working system, I’ll switch over to that.

    #3760536
    Chris FormyDuval
    BPL Member

    @chform

    Locale: RTP

    I’ve been using the mini for a while now. No major issues. I used to have an app that would work offline and show iridium satellite locations and coverage. It would help explain why it it could sometimes take a little while to send a message such as if I was on the wrong side of a mountain or in a cove with limited sky. Expected behavior. Given what I consider to be its most important function (2way life/safety communication in case of emergency) rather than it’s most used mode (general messaging and weather) I much prefer a more rugged separate device with two way messaging capability even in a stand alone (non phone connected) mode. My Inreach stays securely attached to my pack, sometimes even in the brain. No need to aim. With the ability to connect to my watch I rarely touch the mini except to turn on and off at the beginning and end of the day. I send presets from my watch as well as read most messages. The mini and now mini 2 features far exceed anything the iPhone will be able to offer anytime soon although never say never. While the iPhone 14 features are a great bonus currently it is not in the same league as an Inreach or even a zoleo.

    #3760541
    John S.
    BPL Member

    @jshann

    This may not be relevant, but I was car camping with a friend who has the Starlink satellite receiver for internet. If he was anywhere near trees and could not get a good view of the north sky, it would hardly connect and be off and on constantly. That doesn’t give me confidence for any phone working well in tree canopy.

Viewing 17 posts - 26 through 42 (of 42 total)
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