The family escapes the Maui fires using Apple’s iPhone Emergency SOS

Apple’s Emergency SOS satellite calling feature for the first time last November and has already played a major role in several dramatic life-saving rescues. He helped pluck it Lost Hikers From the canyons in Los Angeles County and locate the stranded the snow In remote regions of Alaska. And now, he’s helping rescue people who are struggling to get over Forest fires Capturing the island of Maui in Hawaii.

Michael J. Miraflor chirp Screenshots of what it looks like on the emergency contact side of Apple’s proprietary offering. As described, “Miraflor’s brother’s girlfriend’s cousin” and The family was on vacation in the Lahaina area of ​​Maui When they suddenly became aware of their surroundings The fire “caught”. Screenshots show how family members used the iPhone 14’s satellite-based emergency SOS service to send a message for help. Although being in A central tourist area where you would expect cell phone service, the family likely lost contact as the fires overtook the infrastructure.

“Five people inside a white van,” he wrote asking for help, followed by a harrowing cry. “Please advise! Fire everywhere.” It took about 34 minutes back and forth between iPhone 14 sending details, Apple’s Emergency SOS dispatch center, and local authorities before the rescue operation was over. It’s all documented in one long-running screenshot, which you can view in the original tweet. The person named iPhone emergency contact He is See the entire rescue operation via log, including when family members are safely out of danger.

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I’ve contacted Miraflor to confirm the source of the screenshots. He replied that the messages were from his brother’s girlfriend, an emergency contact for his cousin who sought help in Maui. I also checked with Apple, and while the company is there no Make a comment on this specific caseHe. She They sent a link to it Support page To help remind everyone how to activate Emergency SOS via satellite on a compatible iPhone. You can try a demo at home to see how it works beforehand while you’re calm and not facing impending disaster.

Apple has invested a lot of money in its emergency SOS satellite service — approx 450 million dollars In the United States alone. The company’s latest device is iPhone 14/14 Pro Contains the satellite communication hardware required for this feature. They are currently the only models that have this feature, although it likely will be iPhone 15 Plan to carry the legacy. SOS has since expanded to more regions around the world — the United States, Canada, most of Western Europe, New Zealand and Australia. International travelers visiting a location can use Emergency SOS Take advantage of the feature if they find themselves in trouble unless they bought their phone in China, Hong Kong or Macau.

Android users are still waiting for their equivalent feature. Earlier this year, Qualcomm prover Satellite communication capabilities as they will be in Android smartphones of the future, though only for manufacturers like Samsung, who use Qualcomm. chips in her phones. Pixel smartphones are manufactured by Google in-house. Although the senior vice president of Android, Hiroshi Lockheimer, has The promised support for satellite communication in Android 14 (coming soon), there is no central offering similar to what Apple offers iPhone users, and there is no companion system for emergency dispatchers like Apple does.

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Pixel 6 and Pixel 7 It offers car accident detection but will not call for help unless it is connected to cell phone service. Motorola also launched the standalone version Motorola defies. It links to an Android device to deliver SOS via satellite but it is not a built-in solution.

The ability to call emergency services though is lacking Cell phone service has been a great value-add to Apple’s ecosystem. And with that coverage in the face of ongoing weather catastrophes, it could be something that continues to attract users who want a platform with emergency help built in natively. And hopefully Android will join in soon because it sounds like it We will all weather some major climate disaster sooner or later with only our phones in hand.

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