Iphone has released the new model that can use Emergency SOS via satellite to text emergency services when you are out of cellular and WiFi Coverage.

How Emergency SOS via satellite works

Emergency SOS via satellite can help you connect with emergency services under exceptional circumstances when no other means of reaching emergency services are available. If you call or text emergency services and can't connect because you're outside the range of cellular and Wi-Fi coverage, your iPhone tries to connect you via satellite to the help that you need.

When you use a satellite connection, the experience is different than sending or receiving a message via cellular. In ideal conditions with a direct view of the sky and the horizon, a message might take 15 seconds to send, and over a minute to send under trees with light or medium foliage. If you're under heavy foliage or surrounded by other obstructions, you might not be able to connect to a satellite. Connection times can also be impacted by your surroundings, the length of your message, and the status and availability of the satellite network.

Emergency SOS via satellite will be available with an iOS 16 software update coming in November 2022.

Iphone 12/13 and Garmin Accuracy Comparison Video watch here (click and watch video)


Having tested the iphone /Android  with Gaia Gps app and comparing it with Garmin Overlander /Tread latest garmin offroad device here are my thoughts.

I have used them while travelling in the UAE deserts of Badayer, Liwa, Bu Tais etc. There are advantages for Garmin device as a stand alone GPS , where you can download higher quality birds eye veiw, however I believe using your Iphone is less expensive even if the Gaia GPS app birds eye view is not better than Garmin. 

Using an Iphone 13 will give you an accuracy of _+ 4M compared to Garmins _+ 2/3M. Yes the new Garmin tread has the radio tracking features that you wont get on Gaia app or Iphone device while offline. 

but in my experience you can be very happy to use the iphone 13 and the 14 seems more promising and the accuracy might be better.

our older phones uses the AGPS system which first communicate with the cell towers  and the cell towers provide the GPS locations while the GPS communicates driecty with the satellite.  a GPS might be slower to get an initial connection with the satellite compared to AGPS that connects to cell towers quickly but the GPS is more accurate than AGPS. Desert in Liwa or places without cell tower connecting would require a GPS connection.  Thus we recomend to do the following with your iphones to get an accurate GPS connection.

1) Download and use Gia GPS app or any other software that soots you better.

2) Iphone 13 or 14 should not be connected on to a magnet holder.  It should be free from any external magnets for compass accuracy 

3) Use the offline mode on your Iphone to force the device to connect to GPS satellite rather than the AGPS towers. 

if you are using any android tablet then remember you need a tablet with LTE /5G option as only those will have GPS features. The wifi versions do not have GPS option. You will also need the device to have better accelerometer or better compass functions. I was dissapointed with Samsung Tab A7 with LTE that did not have better compass. 

Hope this article helped you and do watch our youtube videos on GPS training below

1) Understanding Offroad GPS  (click and watch video)

2) WIKILOC & GAIA APP (click and watch video)

Happy Offroading..

Written by Sameer Ali 

whatsapp or Mobile: 00971503141496