Take advantage of satellite connectivity to share your precise location via satellite using Apple’s Find My app and your iPhone 14 or iPhone 14 Pro.
Find My location sharing over satellite: How does it work?
With the iPhone 14, Apple brought satellite connectivity to its smartphone for the first time. This feature won’t let you check your email or read news using satellite data. Instead of that, satellite connectivity on the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pros is limited to texting emergency services and reporting your location in the Find My app.
Apple has envisioned Emergency SOS via satellite as a convenient feature for iPhone 14 users “who go off the grid but don’t experience an emergency.”
Being able to update your location in areas without Wi-Fi networking and cellular coverage enables you to keep your friends and family updated on your whereabouts. Read: How to find your lost device with a friend’s iPhone
Follow along as we show you how to share your iPhone location via satellite in the Find My app on your iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Max, iPhone 14 Pro or iPhone 14 Pro Max.
How to share your location via satellite in the Find My app
If you have an iPhone 14 with iOS 16.1 or later, simply open the Find My app to share your current location via satellite if there’s no Wi-Fi and cellular coverage.
You must be outside and have a clear view of the sky and the horizon so that a satellite radio in your iPhone establishes an unobstructed line of sight to the orbiting satellite. “If you’re under heavy foliage or surrounded by other obstructions, you might not be able to connect to a satellite,” notes Apple’s support document.
- Open the Find My app on your iPhone 14 or iPhone 14 Pro
- Touch the Me tab at the bottom of the screen
- Touch the Send My Location option, found below My Location via Satellite
- Follow the onscreen instructions to establish a connection to the satellite
Friends you’re sharing location with see a message in Find My saying you’ve updated your location via satellite “because there’s no other network available.” When you send your location via satellite to a friend, you won’t see their location in Find My.
Satellite connectivity is slow—it may take a few minutes to update your location, and you can only do it once every fifteen minutes. You won’t be able to share your location via satellite with friends unless you’ve already shared your location with them before you’re outside of cellular and Wi-Fi coverage.
Therefore, add the contacts you want to share your location with in the Find My app ahead of time. Also, be sure to set your iPhone 14 as the device for location sharing in Find My → Me, then hit Use This iPhone as My Location.
Locations shared via satellite are sent end-to-end encrypted and can’t be accessed by Apple or other parties. If you’re in an area that has cellular or Wi-Fi coverage, Find My will update your location using your iPhone’s GPS.
How to view a friend’s location updated via satellite
If a friend has shared their location with you via satellite, you will receive a prompt in the Find My app. A satellite icon shall appear next to their picture in the Find My app, with Satellite Location appearing in the text. For privacy reasons, you can view a friend’s most recently shared location for up to seven days.
Emergency SOS via satellite availability and requirements
Both Emergency SOS via satellite and Find My via satellite are available in the United States and Canada. The service will launch in France, Germany, Ireland and the United Kingdom in December. As mentioned earlier, you need an iPhone 14 or iPhone 14 Pro with iOS 16.1 or later to share your location via satellite.
From Apple’s website:
- You also need to be in a place with no cellular and Wi-Fi coverage.
- Emergency SOS via satellite is available only in the United States (including Puerto Rico and the United States Virgin Islands) and Canada.
- International travelers who visit the United States and Canada can use Emergency SOS via satellite, except if they bought their phone in China mainland, Hong Kong or Macao. Emergency SOS via satellite isn’t offered on iPhone models purchased in China mainland, Hong Kong or Macao.
- Emergency SOS via satellite isn’t available in Guam or American Samoa.
- Satellite connection might not work in places above 62° latitude, such as northern parts of Canada and Alaska.
Emergency SOS via satellite is free for two years starting at the time of activation of a new iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Plus, iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max. Read: How to set up and use Emergency SOS via satellite
A life-saving feature you’ll hopefully never need to use
Updating and sharing your location with your loved ones via satellite in the Find My app is one of those features we hope you will never need to use.
But you might get lost when mountain biking. Or maybe you’re stuck on the North Pole or in the Sahara desert with absolutely no coverage. Either way, you’ll be thankful as this feature could be your lifeline. Read: How to find the GPS coordinates of any location on iPhone
Leveraging satellite connectivity for those kinds of situations used to be a complicated feature that required a heavy satellite telephone with a bulky antenna. Thanks to Apple, this is now a reality for anyone with an iPhone 14 in their pocket.