Customers in Austria, Belgium and four other European countries can now use Apple’s Emergency SOS via satellite feature as long as they’ve updated to iOS 16.4.
- What’s happening? The iPhone 14’s Emergency SOS via satellite feature has expanded to six additional countries, including Austria and Belgium.
- Why care? The feature was limited to the United States and Canada at launch. As of this writing, it’s available in a total of twelve countries.
- What to do? Update to iOS 16.4 to use the feature in the new countries.
iOS 16.4: Emergency SOS via satellite in six new countries
Apple announced in March 2023 that it would bring this feature to new regions later in the month. On March 27, 2023, Emergency SOS via satellite became available in Austria, Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Portugal.
“Emergency SOS via satellite is a great example of technology that could keep our citizens safe,” Jan van Loosbroek, the Dutch National Control Room Organisation’s director, was quoted as saying in the official press release in the Apple Newsroom.
A support document on the Apple website says folks in these six countries must be running iOS 16.4 on their iPhone 14 or iPhone 14 Pro to use Emergency SOS via satellite. “You need iOS 16.4 to connect to emergency services via satellite in Austria, Belgium, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands and Portugal,” it reads.
That’s because certain local emergency numbers (Apple doesn’t specify which ones) require iOS 16.4 or later to connect to emergency services via satellite.
Emergency service numbers
As our tutorial covering how to use Emergency SOS via satellite on your iPhone notes, folks in the new countries can use the following emergency numbers:
- Austria: call or text 112, 133 and 144
- Belgium: call or text 100 and 101
- Italy: call or text 112, 113, 115, 118 and 1530
- Luxembourg: call or text 112, 113, 12112 and 12113
“Certain local emergency numbers require iOS 16.4 or later to connect to emergency services via satellite,” the company has said.
Crash Detection optimization in iOS 16.4
iOS 16.4 also tweaks Apple’s other life-saving feature, called Crash Detection.
The Crash Detection feature in iOS 16.4 includes optimizations to reduce false 911 calls triggered by skiers and snowboarders. Available on the iPhone 14 and later and Apple Watch Series 8 and newer, crash detection uses sensors to detect when you’ve been in a severe crash, helping connect you to emergency services.