Starting today, iPhone 14 users in U.S., Canada can send emergency texts without service or WiFi

Apple is broadening its user safety features, launching a new satellite service Tuesday that lets iPhone 14 users send emergency SOS messages when there is no WiFi or cellular service. In addition, new technology can detect when you and your Apple device are in a car crash and reach out to 911 for help.

Apple CEO Tim Cook told CBS News that the company wants to enrich people’s lives. Cook has been with the tech giant since the late ’90s, and succeeded Steve Jobs as the leader of the brand in 2011.  

The introduction of Apple’s iPhone helped push smartphone adoption to the masses, and in the years since its 2007 debut, the company has continued to refine its flagship handset while developing products like watches and tablets.

Cook even acknowledges that the company is pushing into the health and wellness space.

“I started getting notes about people that found out that they had heart issues that they didn’t know about,” Cook revealed about Apple Watches.

Now, with the addition of the Emergency SOS via satellite service, users can communicate in places where they wouldn’t have been able to connect before. To make the service work, the iPhone needs a clear view of the sky and horizon and the system will guide the user through a number of screen swipes, moves and taps.

“It sends my location information, including my elevation. It sends my medical ID if I’ve set that up, even my battery level on the phone,” said Kaiann Drance, vice president of Apple iPhone marketing.

Cook shared some of his thinking when it came to development of the feature.  “I’m a hiker. And so, I’m frequently out in places where there is no service.”  He continued,”The national parks are largely not covered by cellular service. And so, this happens to people all the time. And it feels so great to be able to talk to a satellite hundreds of miles away, traveling at 15,000 miles an hour.”

On privacy, Cook said,  “We’re not sucking that information up into the cloud to make decisions off of it. We believe in getting the bare minimum level of information that we need to provide somebody a service and we see privacy as the issue of the century.”

And while Cook has watched the company gain trillions of dollars in market value and hold its position as one of the world’s most valuable companies since he took the helm, it isn’t spared from the current economic conditions.

“What we’re doing as a consequence of being in this period is we’re being very deliberate on our hiring,” Cook revealed about Apple’s hiring freeze. “That means we’re continuing to hire, but not everywhere in the company are we hiring. We believe strongly in investing for the long term. And we don’t believe you can save your way to prosperity. We think you invest your way into it.”

Cook doesn’t seem like he plans to retire anytime soon.

“It’s a privilege of a lifetime to be here,” he said. “And I get to work with people I really love to work with and spend time with them. And so, there’s a lot of joy in my life because of Apple. And it’s really hard to envision life without Apple.”

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