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Daily Authority: 🛰️ Satellite SOS shines again

Apple's satellite connectivity feature saves the day, weird gender options in online forms, and more today.
By
December 15, 2022
Apple iPhone 14 Pro Max purple back
Robert Triggs / Android Authority

☕ Good morning! We switched from a bowl for our cat’s food to a plate, and now a substantial amount of food ends up on the floor. I foresee a switch back to the bowl really soon. In any event, today’s Daily covers everything from Apple’s satellite SOS saving the day again to Google’s top Chrome extensions of 2022.

Satellite SOS proves its worth again

Apple announced its Emergency SOS via Satellite feature at the iPhone 14 series launch, allowing people to send out emergency messages via satellite. It’s therefore only been available for a couple of months, but it’s already shown itself to be a life-saving addition.

Yet another demonstration of the tech

  • The latest case of satellite-based SOS helping out in an emergency came this week after a couple’s car went off the side of a California mountain.
  • The car had dropped 300 feet into a remote canyon, with no cellular service available for calling emergency services.
  • Fortunately, one of the occupants was able to use their iPhone 14’s Emergency SOS via Satellite feature to send coordinates for rescue.
  • The occupants were found and hoisted out of the canyon via helicopter. Thankfully, they only had “mild to moderate” injuries.
  • You really have to wonder what would’ve or could’ve happened without this tech.

Not the first time

  • This is just the latest example of satellite-based SOS being used by people in need.
  • An Alaskan man successfully used the service earlier this month after he became stranded on his snowmobile.
  • He was able to transmit his coordinates to rescue services via his iPhone 14 and was found uninjured.
  • This rescue took place at ~66 degrees latitude, despite Apple saying the feature might not work past 62 degrees latitude.

Expect it to be more commonplace soon

  • There are still a number of kinks to work out here. The aforementioned latitude limitation is one obvious issue.
  • Apple’s solution also only allows users to send alerts rather than receive messages in return.
  • Furthermore, the limited bandwidth means you need to pre-fill some details to go with your sent coordinates.
  • But this tech is only going to see greater adoption in 2023 and beyond.
  • Huawei technically beat Apple to the punch as its Mate 50 series offers satellite connectivity for emergencies too.
  • The Galaxy S23 series is rumored to offer the feature as well.
  • Finally, T-Mobile and Starlink announced a deal to offer satellite connectivity for texts and specific texting apps.
  • This will be available on phones from a variety of brands, albeit with a beta program only kicking off at the end of 2023.
  • Either way, it looks like you’ll have options next year if you really want satellite connectivity.

Roundup

🖱️ Google announces its favorite Chrome extensions of the year: Tango is just one standout pick, creating a how-to guide when you record yourself walking through a process (Android Authority).

📱 Samsung reportedly ditches Samsung, will rely on Samsung for future Samsung chips: Samsung has apparently formed a chip development team within its mobile unit, with the purported goal of making custom phone chips. The company currently relies on a sister unit for its Exynos chips (Android Authority).

✈️ Twitter suspends account that tracked Elon Musk’s private jet, despite Musk previously saying he wouldn’t ban this account back in November (Engadget).

🎸 Epic Games is taking a bunch of Rock Band and Unreal Tournament games offline: This leaves many questions about purchased songs and more (Polygon).

🎨 Wallpaper Wednesday is here again: As usual, we’ve got three reader-submitted wallpapers and three wallpapers submitted by the AA team. Including one from yours truly (Android Authority).

📺 Looking for something that the kids can watch? Check out our rundown of the 30 best kids movies on Disney Plus in 2022 (Android Authority).

Thursday Thing

Genders.wtf is a real website (h/t: Waxy) chronicling some incredibly weird gender options in online forms and websites. My favorite one has to be “male/female/Canadian applicant” as seen above. But I’m also partial to “bad/female” and “male/female/hardcore.”

Have a great day!

Hadlee Simons, Editor