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Posts tagged with "iPhone 14"

Apple Provides More Detail About Its Emergency SOS Service Coming Later this Month

Apple announced that later this month, it will launch Emergency SOS via satellite, a new service for the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro that allows users who are out of range of mobile and WiFi networks to message emergency services. The company also said that the upcoming service is the result of a $450 million investment by the company’s Advanced Manufacturing Fund, which predominantly went to Globalstar, a global satellite service company.

Source: Apple.

Source: Apple.

Globalstar operates 24 low-earth orbit satellites that will relay messages from iPhone 14 users via satellite and ground stations to emergency services or a relay center with Apple-trained emergency specialists if local emergency services cannot receive text-based messages. The ground stations use high-powered antennas designed for Apple by Cobham Satcom. In addition to Emergency SOS, iPhone 14 users will be able to send their location via satellite using the Find My app.

Source: Apple.

Source: Apple.

Jeff Williams, Apple’s chief operating officer, said:

Emergency SOS via satellite is a perfect example of how American ingenuity and technology can save lives. We are proud this service is enabled by leading US companies, and that our users can explore off-the-grid areas knowing they are still within reach of emergency services if they are in need.

Seeing the infrastructure that goes into Emergency SOS really drives home the complexity of the technology that underlies the service. I hope I never need to use Emergency SOS, but I’m looking forward to trying the Find My integration the next time I’m beyond the reach of a mobile or WiFi network.


Apple Executives Explain How Crash Detection Works

In an interview with TechCrunch’s Brian Heater, Apple’s vice president of Sensing & Connectivity, Ron Huang, and vice president of Worldwide iPhone Product Marketing, Kaiann Drance explain how the iPhone 14 and 14 Pro and Apple Watch Series 8 and Ultra detect car crashes. A big part of the equation is the new gyroscopes and accelerometers the devices use. The accelerometers measure G Force, while the gyroscopes detect speed changes. Other sensors come into play, too, including the barometer, GPS, and microphone, as well as Bluetooth and CarPlay.

Not every sensor needs to be triggered to detect a crash, although multiple data points are necessary. As Huang explained:

There’s no silver bullet, in terms of activating crash detection. It’s hard to say how many of these things have to trigger, because it’s not a straight equation. Depending how fast the traveling speed was earlier, determines what signals we have to see later on, as well. Your speed change, combined with the impact force, combined with the pressure change, combined with the sound level, it’s all a pretty dynamic algorithm.

The system will also try to make calls to emergency services first using your mobile provider and will fall back to any other networks as necessary. The crash detection feature will be connected to Apple’s upcoming satellite service when it becomes available to handle the situation where no mobile network is available too.

For more details on how crashes are detected and the testing that went into developing the feature, be sure to read Brian Heater’s story. Also, it’s worth noting that TechCrunch’s interviews appear to have been done before recent reports emerged of roller coasters setting off the crash detection feature.

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iPhone 14 and 14 Pro Review Roundup

The reviews for the new iPhones are out, and I’m not surprised that the greatest buzz is around the iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max. It’s worth digging into each of these reviews to get each author’s full take on the new iPhones, but here are a handful of observations that I thought were particularly interesting.

Nilay Patel, writing for The Verge explains how the iPhone 14 Pro Max’s Dynamic Island works:

Apple’s built a new dynamic subpixel antialiasing system that makes the edges of the island up to three times crisper than all the other animations in iOS, which antialias at the pixel level. In normal room lighting, this really works: it feels like the cutout on the display is getting bigger and smaller, and the animations are really fun. (In sunlight or brighter light, you can see the camera sensors, and the illusion goes away, but it’s still cool.)

Patel is also intrigued by the new ideas Apple is experimenting with in the iPhone 14 Pro:

The iPhone 14 Pro, on the other hand, is the clear beginning of lots of new ideas, like the Dynamic Island, the new camera, and that satellite connectivity system. Because these ideas are new, they’re inherently incomplete. But they’re worth criticizing, which is its own kind of victory and a sign that Apple isn’t holding still with the future of the iPhone. I think we could all stand to think more deeply about how our smartphones work, and things like the Dynamic Island are evidence that Apple is still thinking deeply about parts of the iPhone experience.

Allison Johnson wrote a review of the iPhone 14 for The Verge and concluded that its appeal is going to be limited if you have a more recent model iPhone:

Most people should consider other options, but there is an argument for the iPhone 14 if you meet a narrow set of criteria: you’re on an iPhone 12 or older, you really want the satellite SOS feature, you prefer a 6.1-inch screen size (it is, after all, the right one), you want the best camera quality at this price point, you just need a new phone right now, and your carrier is offering a sweet trade-in deal. For this particular set of circumstances, the iPhone 14 will suit you just fine. Otherwise, it’s well worth taking a look at your other options.

Joanna Stern’s story for The Wall Street Journal explains that Apple is doing more than just offering better cameras to entice consumers to move up to the Pro models this year:

The Pro upgrade used to be about the third camera with the telephoto lens. That still matters, but now so does the new multitasking capabilities and a screen you don’t have to keep tapping.

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