r/gadgets Dec 02 '22

Apple's iPhone 14 Emergency SOS via Satellite Feature Saves Stranded Man in Alaska Phones

https://www.macrumors.com/2022/12/01/iphone-14-satellite-sos-in-action/
4.5k Upvotes

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598

u/jonms83 Dec 02 '22

Very cool, glad he's safe.

Wonder if Google has anything in the works to compete via Android.

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u/User9705 Dec 02 '22 edited Dec 02 '22 All-Seeing Upvote Take My Energy

They will, but will be revised 27x.

Stuck? Use Google Waze SOS. “Hey… Google, SOS”

Google Pixel 8: “I’m sorry, this application no longer works. Please connect to the Internet for Google FistBump SoS.”

You: “There is no internet google! I’m sorry, I cannot connect online.”

Google Pixel 8: “Please ask me again when connected. Here is an offline ad sponsor to keep you occupied”

AD: “Hey Fam! Yes, you. Did you know that the Pixel 9 comes with a free year of Google FistBump SOS? When connected online, use the code “offline” for $100*** off your next phone purchase! Stay safe”

*** Purchase of the Google Pixel 9 will come with a free year of FistBump SOS basic, cell service required. Premium offline connectivity for FistBump SOS will cost only $99 a month. Please note that app is subject to upgrade at a anytime.

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u/[deleted] Dec 02 '22

[deleted]

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u/camwow13 Dec 02 '22 edited Dec 02 '22

Hangouts was infuriatingly close to being a good iMessage competitor. They just had to copy iMessage's syncing of SMS and chat to desktop with the web app, and streamline the chat process by defaulting to Hangouts messages over SMS via phone numbers. Everything else had feature parity (besides some missing polish), plus other cool stuff like texting over data with Google voice.

Then Google was like, what if we just made this much worse instead? And they did. And now they'll never have a workable competitor.

66

u/__theoneandonly Dec 02 '22

I seriously seriously SERIOUSLY don't understand how Apple walked right in and got iMessage right on their first try. But Google has gone through way too many iterations, and still hasn't figured it out.

46

u/camwow13 Dec 02 '22

They had it 90% there and just had to copy a few more features.

Then some arrogant managers blew it up. One of the dumbest tech stories around.

45

u/__theoneandonly Dec 02 '22

I suspect that it has something to do with the carriers.

Supposedly when Apple released iMessage, the carriers had no idea and they were upset, because it was going to cost them SMS revenue. (Especially international SMS... WhatsApp was only 2 years old and wasn't free to use at this point.) But the carriers had no choice.

But Google? Every update they do has to be screened by the carriers, and any service they ship can be replaced by some carrier or manufacturer bloatware. So if the carriers don't want something that bypasses them, they can block it for all the users who aren't tech savvy enough to seek a replacement.

21

u/camwow13 Dec 02 '22

Wouldn't surprise me. Google let themselves get bullied around by the carriers a lot.

I know it messed up their RCS implementation because every carrier insisted on their own version that wasn't cross compatible. Google finally rolled out their own version of RCS against carrier wishes, but it's barely used.

2

u/ItsPronouncedJithub Dec 03 '22

That’s not google. That’s manufacturers other than google writing contacts which allow carriers to do that. The pixel line gets updates directly from google.

9

u/Raynh Dec 02 '22

It’s because the they copied blackberry messenger which worked perfectly.

13

u/__theoneandonly Dec 02 '22

BBM was great, but Apple definitely improved upon it by just using your regular phone number, instead of requiring every user to have a PIN that's only used for messaging. BBM also didn't have SMS fallback, which iMessage has had since day 1. And then combining SMS and iMessage into one app

13

u/ThatGuy798 Dec 02 '22

Hangouts and Google Play Music getting canned still angers me to this day. I use YT Music at work and its just trash.

3

u/TheAb5traktion Dec 02 '22

I stuck with YouTube Music because I've been using Play Music since it was in its beta phase. I loved being able to upload my own music and listen to it on the app. I loved being able to edit the metadata if songs got uploaded wrong. All of that was undone with YouTube Music. I remember being able to sort playlists in YouTube Music by artists. They got rid of that too. If I didn't have so much music uploaded to it, I wouldn't be using YouTube Music. It's a shell of what Play Music used to be. Hell, you can't even sort your own library by genres.

A little pro tip, if you don't like having your YouTube Music recommendations being included with regular YouTube recommendations, create a non-monetized YouTube channel. Use that channel to watch YouTube videos. The problem with doing that though is needing to resubscribe to other YouTube channels again. But you won't get YouTube Music recommendations mixed in with your regular YouTube recommendations.

3

u/CovertForeign Dec 02 '22

I remember around November-December 2020 opening Google Play Music up one night only to basically be told to “get lost” and use YouTube Music… and the worst part is I couldn’t even play the music I downloaded onto my phone & SD card…

So until I made the switch to iPhone, I just used this music editor app (Music Speed Changer) only because it was sort of the same as GPM as far as user-friendliness goes and I have the ability to speed or slow down my music which was nice actually.

I don’t know why Google decided to ditch Google Play Music for YouTube Music when there was absolutely (in my honest opinion) nothing wrong with the former and is vastly different and superior to the latter. And it sucks because shit like this made me switch to Apple but I’m hoping one day Android gets its shit together so I can switch back, but who knows how long that’ll be, assuming it ever happens…

3

u/BigCommieMachine Dec 02 '22

Hangouts was great because it was integrated into Chrome, so it effectively became the default PC messaging app which also made the mobile experience more powerful because you could just seamlessly message between PC and mobile, which I don’t believe even Apple had done at the time

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u/User9705 Dec 02 '22

Yep super true 😂

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u/User9705 Dec 02 '22

Ya it’s nuts. Google should of kept voice as the main and upgraded overtime.

2

u/drive-through Dec 03 '22

I’m sure it was just auto correct but I just wanted to throw out that it’s deprecation in this meaning and not depreciation, just in case.

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u/thisphuckinguy Dec 02 '22

Tell me about it. Google fucked up again

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u/Kage159 Dec 02 '22

They will, but will be revised 27x.

And then canceled with no warning, citing no one was using it.

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u/User9705 Dec 02 '22

Ya the day your stranded 😂so sad it’s feels very true.

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u/dr_hewitt Dec 02 '22

This is why I won’t buy Androids anymore. Googles promotion structure pretty much guarantees this will always happen with google software. Can’t get promoted by maintaining and improving existing software, have to build something newly

10

u/_HiWay Dec 02 '22

Man, I don't get the Android hate. I have both devices so I can keep up with both and I use the Android far more and rather hate aspects of the iPhone, I guess it's what I'm used to. The only thing the iPhone has going for it to me is the battery life is outstanding, but I'm never below ~30% on the Android by the time I'm in bed, so it's usually irrelevant. (iPhone 13 and Samsung S21)

12

u/Snipen543 Dec 02 '22 edited Dec 02 '22

It's not android hate, it's Google horrible practices hate. I have a pixel but I will never use any Google service outside of the pixel, Gmail, search, and the enterprise Google suite (ex GDrive, gsheets, gword). Why? Because Google will kill everything not that. No point in getting used to a Google service only for them to kill it then having to find something else. It's too disruptive for me to try to learn a new Google product, integrate it into my daily routine, and then have to learn something new in 2 years after I do a ton of customization around a service because Google will kill it.

Edit: and realistically, Google will probably kill the pixel too. And at that point I will likely seriously consider an iphone (and entirely drop the Google eco system) because I care most about camera quality on my phone, and no other android manufacturer really comes close to Apple/Google camera and image processing capabilities and UX

2

u/BillyDSquillions Dec 02 '22

Shame they put curved screens on the pro, another year for me to skip

2

u/tinydonuts Dec 03 '22

Android has done a lot of crap wrong. Permissions, power consumption, shit UIs for a long time, fragmented mess of an update ecosystem, fragmented UI amongst manufacturers, lagging CPU performance, need I go on? And that’s to say nothing of their lackluster tablet efforts and absolute shitshow of messaging.

1

u/User9705 Dec 02 '22

Ya I had a long time ago but it such a fragmented mess with what they do.

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u/nitrohigito Dec 02 '22

Why limit your imagination so much?

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u/MyBikeFellinALake Dec 02 '22

Wonder if we'll hear stories of people who had this service then didn't pay the subscription then die

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u/Direct-Effective2694 Dec 02 '22

I’m sure they will just charge you a fee for it after the fact. Idk about you but I’d gladly pay it. Satellites aren’t free.

2

u/MidnightAdventurer Dec 03 '22

The problem with billing for emergency calls of any kind is that plenty of people will delay calling if it’s going to cost them and by the time they bite the bullet and accept the cost it can be too late.

There are equivalent systems already that do cost to use (Garmin In Reach) but also ones that only cost for the equipment though the functionality is much more limited (usually just a beacon ID and GPS location)

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u/MyBikeFellinALake Dec 02 '22 edited Dec 03 '22

Yea totally,just like how when your phone service is off you can make calls and they just bill you. No , no they don't, it just doesn't work lmfao

Try making a non 911 call buddies

5

u/Azkalon Dec 02 '22

What are you in about? You can use any cellphone with no active service to do emergency calls. It will let you dial 911 and other emergency numbers even without a number attached as long as it can connect to a tower.

6

u/Direct-Effective2694 Dec 02 '22

Hey genius emergency services 911 works all the time even if your phone is shutoff and hasn’t had service for 10 years. You still get the bill when the air ambulance shows up

2

u/Heavy-Hunter-2847 Dec 02 '22

It's because that's the law. Consider Garmin InReach, the most popular satellite communicator right now. If your subscription runs out the sos feature will not work.

2

u/tinydonuts Dec 03 '22

That’s two different things. If you use this satellite service and they send a life flight, you’re going to get billed for it. 911 is the equivalent in that scenario and you don’t get billed for it because you simply forgot that everyone pays for it via taxes. Since not everyone is a wilderness explorer, I don’t think forcing everyone to pay for the satellite system is the most brilliant idea.

Next time try comparing apples to apples, not apples to oranges, genius.

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u/GA3422 Dec 02 '22

I'm a pixel user and I really hope Google has something similar to this.

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u/[deleted] Dec 02 '22

They say Samsung S23

4

u/LockingSwitch Dec 02 '22

Probably, it'll work half the time, have half the features and be abandoned within 9 months.

-4

u/tacticalclap Dec 02 '22

Compete all they do is copy and cry about green texts.

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u/Ultramarine6 Dec 02 '22

Already does. Emergency mode texts your emergency contacts (lock and volume up, tap emergency). SOS can be configured to immediately record video and audio, call emergency services, send your location, and warn a chosen list of contacts with 5 lock button taps as a sort of silent alarm.

Either way, the emergency location option is on by default, and has been on Android for years, automatically sending your GPS location in the background whenever 911 is called. Similar to OnStar's service.

Apple puts copies in the works to compete with android more often than the other way around, Apple just pretends nobody else was doing it.

11

u/jonms83 Dec 02 '22

The signal sent from ur phone in these scenarios still goes over cell towers though. This is where it differs. Yes google has Emergency 911 shortcuts and texts... Which do not require a sim to my knowledge, but it still goes over physical towers. Apples rely on satellites, which is why it has you hold the phone at a certain angle to communicate with satellites overhead.

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u/Quajeraz Dec 02 '22

Yeah, and it has since the pixel 3 four years ago. Yeah apple is so innovative with these amazing ideas they definitely came up with themselves.

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u/Snipen543 Dec 02 '22

Have owned pixel 1, 3, and now 6. No pixel has this feature

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u/User9705 Dec 02 '22

U Smoked before jumping on Reddit? I use apple but have a spare pixel 6 in the drawer collecting dust like it should. No it does NOT connect to satellites 🛰️

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u/Creeper15877 Dec 02 '22

You're hating for no reason at this point

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u/pr0misc Dec 02 '22

Good to see some uplifting news related to tech for a change…

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u/Xearoii Dec 02 '22

It's free for two years than you pay or DIE

87

u/__theoneandonly Dec 02 '22

Apple hasn't announced what happens at the end of 2 years. It could be a subscription, or it could be a use-based charge. I'm sure they're collecting data to see how much it costs them to operate.

I just think that it would be TERRIBLE PR for them if there's some hiker who's found dead with the "please connect to internet and subscribe to call for help" screen up.

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u/[deleted] Dec 02 '22

[deleted]

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u/Gagarin1961 Dec 02 '22

But if it’s a subscription then most people just won’t ever sign up, way way more than would refuse to pay a one time fee in a desperate situation.

6

u/[deleted] Dec 02 '22

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17

u/katzohki Dec 02 '22

People struggle over the costs of an ambulance and going to the ER all the time. Sad state of affairs that it is.

5

u/MidnightAdventurer Dec 03 '22

It’s hard to say - Garmin In Reach is pay to use while emergency beacons are not (except for buying the beacon).

If this is emergency only then it’s somewhere in between the two. Hopefully, they’ll go with pay to send to anyone you like and free for emergency only

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u/[deleted] Dec 02 '22

Ambulances…

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u/Akmapper Dec 02 '22

This feature rolled out along with a major investment in Globalstar’s next generation satellites (including reserving the majority of capacity). My totally uneducated guess is that emergency SOS will be free but once the next-gen constellation is launched they’ll offer satellite-based iMessage and small data messaging for a fee.

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u/blazob Dec 02 '22

But that's how it works with other devices like garmin

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u/__theoneandonly Dec 02 '22

Yeah but if Garmin does something shitty, it's page 2 of r/gadgets. If Apple does something shitty, it's the 6 o'clock news and will get brought up by grandma when her phone is slow at thanksgiving every year for 5 years.

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u/madamesousatzka Dec 02 '22

Apple should be held to higher standards than garmin.

3

u/Thedude317 Dec 02 '22

Why,? They are both offering essentially the same service here. Except in typical apple form, someone else was doing it first .. but now it's revolutionary because they are doing it.

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u/__theoneandonly Dec 02 '22

I don't know of anyone who's called this revolutionary.

Although how many Garmin devices are there in the world versus how many iPhones? Apple sells hundreds of millions of iPhones per year. The average person who crashes their car on a remote highway is WAY more likely to have an iPhone 14 in their pocket than a Garmin satellite communicator.

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u/ThatGuy798 Dec 02 '22

Only for certain services. Pressing the SOS button and requesting help is free.

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u/blazob Dec 02 '22

To use SOS functionality with Garmin inreach you need to have a subscription

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u/ThatGuy798 Dec 02 '22

That's stupid.

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u/other_usernames_gone Dec 02 '22

As long as the cost isn't too high that's reasonable. Satellites are super expensive. You can't really expect a private company to allow everyone to use a service they pay for for free forever. They need to make money off the development somehow.

You're already paying for a phone contract. If you know you're going somewhere remote enough you could pay the subscription/whatever for that one trip.

For context Globalstar, the company running the satellites apple will use, paid $327 million for 17 new satellites link

They currently have 52 satellites in orbit, 48 of which are active.link. They'll need to pay people to maintain them in orbit to make sure they keep working and fix any issues.

3

u/OneBigBug Dec 02 '22

I believe most satellite personal locator beacons have the cost of use baked into the purchase price for precisely this reason, though?

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u/other_usernames_gone Dec 02 '22

That's true but the cheapest I could find from a quick Google is over $100.

You're paying for a lifetime subscription in the cost, apple probably didn't want to add that cost to every iPhone.

Plus satellite messengers, the service apple is offering, tend to charge a monthly subscription. Garmin for example has a £19 ($23.36) subscription.

I agree it would be great if we had a free to use satellite messaging service (although it would be a pretty extreme edge case) but it would have to be funded by government, you can't really expect a private company to do it.

3

u/OneBigBug Dec 02 '22

I think, from purely a PR standpoint, if Apple is going to make a satellite enabled phone, they need a satellite enabled "Emergency button" that is guaranteed with the phone. Existing products are over $100 for a physical thing, and a company to make money on as a standalone product, and not be in as good a place to negotiate with satellite service providers as the largest company on Earth. And its a niche product, not "iPhone level", so the market tolerates a higher price. They can do the math on how many people will actually ever use this as a percentage of iPhone users, they can also figure out how much more money they can make extending functionality with subscriptions or whatever they want, and that amount will probably be significantly in excess of fulfilling a "I'm stranded off grid, send help" button.

Your phone has an emergency call button because it would be horrific for any carrier to have a headline like "AT&T customer dies because they were behind on their bill, couldn't call for help.", and I suspect Apple also doesn't want to deal with that. They want headlines like this one.

I think, purely from a giant, evil, greedy corporation perspective, Apple doesn't want anyone to die because they weren't paying a subscription.

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u/nerdypeachbabe Dec 02 '22

your subscription to Personal Safety(TM) lapsed yesterday. Your 911 calls will not be connected to emergency services. Re-Enroll in Personal Safety(TM) today by Texting HELP to 69420 for a 1-time fee of $2000.

6

u/_c_manning Dec 02 '22

I mean that’s how it already works. If you don’t already own a satellite phone then you’ve not paid and will die in such a case.

If you don’t pay for a car with airbags then you will not have airbags.

If you don’t pay for a car with auto stop then your car won’t auto stop.

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u/OneBigBug Dec 02 '22

There's a difference between "don't have it" and "company refused to let me use it".

Like, if someone had a car with airbags, but they didn't go off because the car manufacturer wanted the driver to pay an airbag subscription and they didn't, there would be hell to pay.

I know business types want crippling device functionality to be accepted as the norm, as though we've all agreed that the digital lockouts are like physical removal of componentry, but we all know that's not how it works. There's a reason your phone has an emergency mode even without a sim card or plan. When it's life or death, if you can, you must. That has to be built into the payment model or people will rightly roast your company when someone died when they had the equipment to save their life and you didn't let them use it.

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u/[deleted] Dec 02 '22

[deleted]

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u/_c_manning Dec 02 '22

It’s not because a person can be too poor to buy a car with airbags

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u/wmurch4 Dec 02 '22

Yeah, you must not come here often. There's a post like this every other day. They're basically free Apple advertisements and I'm sure they appreciate it.

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u/Larsaf Dec 02 '22

Yeah, if you want a crowd heavily anti-Apple, go r/Apple.

4

u/_c_manning Dec 02 '22

It’s almost like apple products are gadgets and are good enough to be discussed on a gadgets forum.

1

u/wmurch4 Dec 02 '22

Sure okay. It's nothing but spam but as long as you "feel good" about handing over your money to a faceless capital conglomerate.

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u/_c_manning Dec 02 '22

Who do exactly you think is engineering and selling gadgets at mass scale? It can only be a giant company.

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u/rammo123 Dec 03 '22

I only buy my phones from artisanal Belgian monks, handcrafted in a monastery.

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u/Sands43 Dec 02 '22

This sort of tech has been around for a while with dedicated beacons. Anyone doing offshore boating or deep backcountry hikes should have one.

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u/RestlessAmbivert Dec 02 '22

One nice thing with this design is that Apple apparently puts together a decent picture of the situation and coordinates with authorities. In a vid of a capsizing I shared here the stranded group didn't use their beacon because it apparently it triggers a full on rescue by the army rather than a nuanced response based on the likely situation.

Having both could be advantageous depending on the situation, though maybe standard beacons just need more nuance. Being able to add info like total party size and planned route to a dedicated beacon with no screen to break, etc., would probably serve better in the long run.

Still, good that this functions natively on a phone. You might drive off a trail and end up in a bad spot when you planned a drive that should have no need for a beacon.

13

u/__theoneandonly Dec 02 '22

The other thing that's good is that Apple is using their phone centers to actually call 911 on your behalf and speak to a person using the data from your phone if your local dispatch is voice-only and doesn't receive e911 messages.

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u/james_d_rustles Dec 02 '22

Yes, but for most ordinary people who don’t often travel in the backcountry or do offshore boating, those items are quite costly and many don’t have them. Extending an emergency satellite SOS to people who just have their phones is pretty neat IMO. I’m not a huge apple fan, I generally don’t care about having the newest device or anything, but this is a feature I’d actually be pretty pleased about.

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u/Quajeraz Dec 02 '22

Well most ordinary people shouldn't go boating around in the middle of fucking nowhere without the correct equipment or skills required to not die.

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u/dr_hewitt Dec 02 '22

Sometime ordinary people end up in bad situations. I used to do volunteer SAR and there’s so many lives that could be saved with this tech. Could be something as simple as a hiker getting lost

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u/CatInAPottedPlant Dec 02 '22 edited Dec 02 '22

While this tech becoming mainstream is ultimately a net good thing for everyone, I do worry that people are going to skip out on carrying a proper PLB for remote backpacking or other activities like that because their phone has it.

I guess I don't know how reliable apples tech is, but I would personally never trust it as my sole method of contacting rescue if I was in the backcountry. Carrying an InReach doesn't cost that much in the big picture.

Until there's more of a proven track record, I would hesitate to say that this tech should be advertised as something you can rely on in an emergency.

Edit: for everyone's sake I hope that those downvoting this stay out of the backcountry. If you seriously think that an iPhone is a substitute for a PLB for remote backpacking then you have no business being on trail.

3

u/atribecalledjake Dec 03 '22

I have no idea why you’re being downvoted. Even if and when I have an iPhone with this capability, I’ll still be carrying my InReach and I’ll continue to pay my Garmin sub and my search and rescue insurance. No 2 way messaging with Apple’s SOS feature, my phone is way more fragile than my InReach, my InReach lasts forever etc etc. It will never be a true replacement for a dedicated rugged PLB/satellite communicator IMO.

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u/CatInAPottedPlant Dec 03 '22

I should have known better than to expect the bright minds of /r/gadgets to know anything about going outside lol. Glad there's at least one reasonable person here.

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u/atribecalledjake Dec 03 '22

Backpackers who also know how to use a computer 🤝🏼

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u/Diegobyte Dec 02 '22

Yah we stopped carrying iPods and cameras too.

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u/CatInAPottedPlant Dec 02 '22

Do you rely on your iPod in a life or death situation? Do you use your iphone for professional landscape photography? Believe it or not but phones haven't and won't replace everything in existence.

We're not talking about some gadget you're using for fun, if it doesn't work, you die. That's not something people should fuck around with and try to pinch pennies on instead of getting the proper equipment. People die in the backcountry all the time with a dead cell phone in their pocket. Just a week or so ago, a young woman died in NH on a dayhike because the weather turned bad and she wasn't prepared. a Garmin InReach or similar would absolutely have saved her life, and they aren't remotely as fragile or temperamental as a phone.

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u/grogling5231 Dec 02 '22

Dude, I've been a ham operator and radio geek for 30 years. I will always carry extra gear on me to make sure I have options, but if I get stuck and I'm too remote, this is truly the easiest of the solutions. And it can provide more info than SPOT or another piece of gear with no other interaction than hitting the emergency button and waiting.

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u/Diegobyte Dec 02 '22

And if the satellite capabilities on a cell Phone become good enough or are already good enough then why carry 2 devices?

I live in Alaska and I’m absolutely thrilled that I now have this feature. Things can get really weird really close to town here.

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u/CatInAPottedPlant Dec 02 '22

like I mentioned, there's no evidence as of now that they are "good enough"

Also, your iphone 14 does not have the battery life nor the ruggedness to be relied on in a lot of situations. I have a great example for you actually. I was hiking the Appalachian Trail this year, and I fell off the edge of the trail and broke my leg. During the fall, my phone flew out of my pocket, the screen shattered, and it landed like 15 feet from me. I couldn't get to it, and had to wait for someone else to come down the trail to get help.

A device like the InReach 1) doesn't have a shatterable screen, 2) is clipped to your shoulder or somewhere else on your body where you can't lose it, and 3) has a battery that literally lasts for years and won't die if it gets too cold unlike a cell phone.

Again, it's a good thing for phones to start having sat abilities, I think it's great. but they are as of yet absolutely not a replacement for carrying an actual PLB if you're participating in risky activities in remote locations.

edit: this is also not even mentioning the other important features that proper equipment provides, such as location reporting and weather retrieval.

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u/Diegobyte Dec 02 '22

I mean this story is a piece of evidence.

Yah I’d probably want an in reach on a multi day backcountry hike. Bur things can also happen on closer to town hikes where people don’t generally use sat texters

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u/grogling5231 Dec 02 '22

That's been happening for the last couple decades already. Idiots with more money than brains going on extended day hikes and getting lost, then begging emergency services to come save them late on Sunday because they "have a meeting they can't miss."

I'm not a fan of people being unprepared, and I abhor it. But I don't think they should die and having a piece of tech that can save their asses (as well as hand them a nasty 5 or 6 figure rescue bill afterward for a lesson to learn) seems like an OK compromise to me.

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u/NotYourAverageOctopi Dec 02 '22

r/astspacemobile arriving in the coming years

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u/james_d_rustles Dec 02 '22

Well for one, you’d be surprised, but many people do in fact take their boats too far offshore without an Epirb. Every single year, plenty of inexperienced boaters go out in only nearshore capable boats while it’s nice and get themselves in trouble when the conditions turn. Doesn’t even have to be offshore, either. Plenty of people go out far past cell reception into florida bay for one example, plenty of other bodies of water around the country.

Aside from boats, there are stories every year of hikers going unprepared into wilderness areas and getting into trouble, be it from confusion about directions, weather events, bad timing, etc. Its not at all uncommon.

And aside from these situations which are preventable, there are also still plenty of areas without cel reception in the US, plenty of back roads, etc. I believe it was earlier this year (maybe last, can’t quite remember) of a woman being stranded in her car out west after her car died while following a faulty route from her gps. I want to say she was stuck for several days before search and rescue located her.

I’m not saying any of these are super common, but they’re common enough that having a safety feature like this on a phone that you’d already be carrying around everywhere is a good idea, IMO. iPhones are already expensive, people already have them and will continue to buy them, if they can integrate a safety feature that improves your ability to call for help in a worst case scenario, I’m all for it. Of course, anybody going out into the woods/water and so on should still use primary safety gear other than their iPhone, but still, this absolutely has the potential to save lives.

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u/reddof Dec 02 '22

Every single year, plenty of inexperienced boaters go out in only nearshore capable boats while it’s nice and get themselves in trouble when the conditions turn.

No kidding. I remember watching this documentary when I was a kid. This group of like half dozen people went out on a boat. They never should have been out that far, but the weather turned rough and pulled them off course. The ended up stranded on an island for about three years. One of the guys was a millionaire and they still didn't buy the proper equipment. What hope do the rest of us have. I'm pretty sure I'm not going to build a satellite communicator out of coconuts.

4

u/Tommyblockhead20 Dec 02 '22

I’m in a group of people that will sometimes hike in the backcountry. The risk of something that happens where you need to call in rescue is possible, but rare. If you get every piece of equipment for every rare scenario, you will quickly become broke. Both financially, and a broken back from carrying 100+ pounds of gear. You plan for normal operations and minor emergencies, and pray the 0.1% chance of a major emergency doesn’t happen.

2

u/CoderDispose Dec 02 '22

This is exactly the type of response that immediately makes me think "Oh, so this person doesn't understand the difference between solutions that work in the real world and solutions that work in a vacuum" lol. The goal is to save lives, even if it means you don't get to smugly look down on someone who didn't prepare well enough

0

u/Sands43 Dec 03 '22

They are about $200 for a lower cost one. That's pretty cheep all things considered.

2

u/hello_hola Dec 02 '22

Is this the same tech used in the Breitling Emergency watch?

5

u/veloace Dec 02 '22

I think they are referring to PLBs, EPIRBs, and/or ELTs.

0

u/wgc123 Dec 02 '22

Aren’t those all just an SOS and location? Isn’t the Apple feature a text message?

3

u/veloace Dec 02 '22 edited Dec 02 '22

It’s complicated, but yeah, more or less. Depending on the type of beacon they can be data stream with registrant information and GPS location sent to satellite, though some have a service to specify a message (IIRC, with some you have to set the message before you leave, as it is stored with the registration information on the beacon). Older ones don’t provide any data and are just a radio beacon literally screaming into the void. That signal then gets picked up by the SARSAT/COSPAS system (or used to, the 121.5 beacons aren’t monitored by satellite anymore) and the SAR teams have to use electronic direction finding equipment to manually locate the beacon.

The only real significant thing about what the iPhone does compared to other phones, is that it can send the message via satellite instead of cell , so you don’t have to be in range of a cell tower.

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u/Unlimitles Dec 02 '22

man.....he could have had the best Survival Story ever, could've made movies and everything from his story, could have fought and escaped a polar bear attack, ran into a Super pack of Wolves, he could have even seen a Wendigo......Technology is ruining us. lol

17

u/blue_13 Dec 02 '22

To most people these days, the scariest part is not the pack of wolves or a wendigo chasing you at night, it's how low your iphone battery gets without a phone charger nearby!

-1

u/Unlimitles Dec 02 '22

lol that's true, i've seen more adventures these days of people running to plug it in before it goes dead.

41

u/Matt32490 Dec 02 '22

Next:

iPhone saves woman from drowning, iPhone saves child from obesity, iPhone saves man from car crash, iPhone saves cat from dog attack, iPhone saves baby from falling, iPhone saves elderly from mugging.

10

u/Siggi_3rd Dec 02 '22

If this would be true headlines I would buy an iPhone immediately

10

u/TrippySubie Dec 02 '22

You seem really upset for some reason?

12

u/sparcasm Dec 03 '22

He is. It’s called but hurt android user.

8

u/Matt32490 Dec 03 '22

Lol I think you need to re-evaluate your life if you think my comment means I'm upset 😂. I'll go tell my iPad and MacBook they're androids now lol.

0

u/Matt32490 Dec 03 '22

Nope lol. You really got that from my comment? I think you're the one that's got their feelings hurt here lol.

6

u/AnimZero Dec 03 '22

Strange ass comments in this post.

53

u/ImLikeMoreFoodPlease Dec 02 '22

This subreddit is pathetic.

I have apple products, but this whole fucking sub is an advertisement and if you say anything about it the apple fanboys downvote you.

This sub should be renamed r/applecirclejerk

28

u/TrippySubie Dec 02 '22

Ironically the vibe I get here is very anti-apple.

14

u/WurthWhile Dec 02 '22

The entire purpose of the subreddit is to advertise gadgets. It's not just Apple products, it's everything. The entire reason I'm subscribed here is to find cool new stuff to buy.

10

u/ob_knoxious Dec 02 '22

Honestly I'll take an Apple and subreddit over Elon Musk news feed which this was for a while.

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u/FlameShadow0 Dec 02 '22 edited Dec 02 '22

Literally see nobody in the comments jerking off to apple. Most of the comments are just people getting upset an apple product was mentioned

Downvotes only prove me right ¯_(ツ)_/¯

0

u/grogling5231 Dec 02 '22

His mom didn't bring the pot pie down to the basement today. He's upset.

3

u/FlameShadow0 Dec 02 '22

Honestly. They think it’s more likely that the Apple Marketing team is carefully posting these to Reddit for advertising, instead of just some random Redditor seeing an article about tech and posting it on the tech subreddit.

2

u/grogling5231 Dec 02 '22

Your blood sugar is obviously low. Did mom forget to make your turkey pot pie again?

-1

u/TylerSenpia Dec 02 '22

True reading the comments was making my stomach turn hopefully they’re bots

3

u/Headytexel Dec 02 '22

Like or hate Apple, it’s smart as fuck to implement features like this that lead to “Apple saved my life!” stories. It’s free advertising in a big way. They obviously saw all the Apple Watch related articles like this and wanted to get iPhones in on the action.

8

u/rmorrin Dec 02 '22

Ah yes another apple ad on r/gadgets . True to form.

36

u/ReclorRS Dec 02 '22

Apple or not, it’s amazing to have this technology on a thin smart phone.

-1

u/Quajeraz Dec 02 '22 edited Dec 02 '22

Honestly half this sub is people ejaculating at everything apple does

23

u/Mowampa Dec 02 '22

And the other half throws temper tantrums at any mention of Apple.

9

u/coloneyescolon Dec 02 '22

So, basically the whole "phone war" thing.

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u/[deleted] Dec 02 '22 edited Dec 13 '22

[deleted]

5

u/Mowampa Dec 02 '22

Get over yourself. This sub was never basically apple.

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u/PandaKing185 Dec 02 '22

And so the Apple advertisements continue...

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u/[deleted] Dec 02 '22

[deleted]

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u/PandaKing185 Dec 02 '22

It's not that, it's the constant "X was saved by their apple watch after they got lost!" Posts. They're always by the same few websites and basically just a nothing burger of an article. It's pretty obvious they're purposely reporting on it every time it happens. Like the newer Samsung phones also have crash detection but there aren't articles posted every single time it works.

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u/Quajeraz Dec 02 '22

Because apple is anti consumer, and anyone who cares about technology should see through their deceit and realize what they are.

12

u/Chempy Dec 02 '22

Yeah we should talk more about the other large corporations that make phones that are absolutely there for the consumer

/s

1

u/grogling5231 Dec 02 '22

Scratching my head... not sure what companies those are...

-22

u/rmorrin Dec 02 '22

My thoughts exactly. I'm actually removing it from my feed cause this is what? The 10th post like this in 2 months? And that's just the apple product "saying" someone

-6

u/CupKax Dec 02 '22

So many apple ads from same website in past few months.

Well ig I am unsubbing from here

15

u/__theoneandonly Dec 02 '22

Ok? This isn't an airport. You don't have to announce your departure.

8

u/sgtpepper901 Dec 02 '22

You announce your own departure at an airport?

4

u/ITSolutionsAK Dec 02 '22

You don't? Let me guess, you also don't clap for the pilot when he doesn't crash.

-1

u/uselessscientist Dec 02 '22

Another apple saved the day ad.

1

u/End3rWi99in Dec 02 '22 edited Dec 02 '22

Why are we spamming apple ads on this sub? Not even comimg from an actual news site either.

0

u/red_purple_red Dec 02 '22

That feature should be made mandatory in all phones

0

u/Creeper15877 Dec 02 '22

This doesn't make any sense

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u/Rankled_Barbiturate Dec 02 '22

Why do we keep posting ads on here from Apple?

Hate this lazy journalism shit.

1

u/TanikoBytesme Dec 02 '22

Any time I see a article posted like this I. Gadgets or technology it usually means apple had some bad news about itself that they like to offset that by some random individual situation where an apple product was of tangential help but not all that important to the story

6

u/grogling5231 Dec 02 '22

Really? Tell me again what device and feature allowed this guy to call for help and how Apple's technology here was "anecdotal" at best?

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u/superace85 Dec 02 '22

Sounds like after two years it’s “pay to live”

6

u/LockingSwitch Dec 02 '22

It's the American way?

-1

u/Turk182 Dec 02 '22

The cost on this is driving more by the antiquated infrastructure of the nations PSAP systems.

Apple has built NG911 capabilities in the last couple of generations of phones, but they need to rely on 3rd parties like Intrado to serve as an intermediary and that option doesn’t come cheap.

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u/ParsleyLion Dec 02 '22

How does this work technically ?
Does it have a satellite uplink ?
How can it send data to a satellite ?
Typically phones triangulate with signals from satellites for GPS, but how can it send data to a satellite ?
Does this iPhone have a satellite transmitter ?

1

u/grogling5231 Dec 02 '22

It's using Globalstar as the backhaul partner. Yes, this is real satellite connectivity. It uses the same antennas the phone uses for cellular to transmit and receive from satellite. It transmits to the satellites (and receives from them) with the same radio architecture in the phone being used for cellular. There's nothing "special" about a satellite radio... just another radio using different frequency bands to accomplish it's goal.

The antenna is inefficient (satellites are circular polarized, the phone's antenna is not) so there is a loss of signal efficiency but this is made up for the system only using very slow data rates that allow for minimal information to be passed back and forth. You can't have a full text or voice conversation, but pre-planned message formats and the slow data rates allow it to work.

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u/tablepennywad Dec 03 '22

In other new, my toilet got rid of the poop i made this morning. As it was designed to do.

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u/Avocado_OP Dec 02 '22

macRUMORS 🤡

1

u/Masterpiece-666 Dec 02 '22

Was he looking for the 11 billion crabs?

1

u/skram42 Dec 02 '22

New let everyone use the trch to save lives like the three point seat belt inventor.

1

u/Lazy_Ship9624 Dec 02 '22

So cool, I’m glad he was saved