Yes, please steal the iPhone’s SOS characteristic

I like that it’s 2024, and there are folks on this planet who’re nonetheless dunking on Apple, Google, and Samsung for ripping options off of one another. With smartphones actually attending to a spot of maturity and upgrades being extra iteration at this level than big jumps, there’s actually just one approach to set aside your new cellphone out of your outdated one — steal another person’s thought.

And that’s nice! I’m cool with that — particularly when the options that firms are ripping off one another are well being or safety-related, and that’s precisely what it seems Google is making ready to do with the Pixel 9.

As reported by Android Authority, Google is rumored to be working with T-Mobile to launch a satellite-enabled SOS characteristic with the Google Pixel 9. According to the report, the characteristic will use T-Mobile’s partnership with SpaceX to allow texting over satellite tv for pc connectivity in addition to providing a brand new “Satellite Gateway” app that permits the emergency SOS characteristic.

We’ve already seen earlier indicators about how this might work, however we are able to now preview it in additional element. First, you may be requested a couple of fundamental questions, to slim down the scenario. You may also be given a option to notify your emergency contacts, after which it is possible for you to to message with emergency providers to get the make it easier to want. Many of the questions may also have predefined solutions to select from to make the method faster.

Pixel 9 will feature three cameras on the back, according to design leak.
Pixel 9 will characteristic three cameras on the again, in accordance with design leak. Image supply: 91mobiles and OnLeaks

The report notes that the characteristic can be featured first within the Pixel 9 however may also be coming to the next-generation Pixel Fold. The Pixel 9 is predicted to be unveiled later this yr on the firm’s ordinary Made by Google occasion in October.

Everyone ought to steal this characteristic

Google isn’t the one firm engaged on an emergency characteristic like this. Samsung and Qualcomm are additionally creating know-how to allow these sorts of security options — Apple simply received forward of everybody when it launched Emergency SOS by way of Satellite on the iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro again in 2022. The options additionally stayed accessible with the iPhone 15 lineup that launched in 2023.

Apple’s implementation of the characteristic permits customers to contact emergency providers when the one connection accessible is by way of satellite tv for pc. Emergency providers will obtain the emergency questionnaire in addition to the individual’s medical ID from their iPhone and their location. The characteristic may also alert the individual’s emergency contacts and share their location with these people.

This game-changing service permits Public Safety Answering Points (PSAPs) — or emergency providers name facilities — to hook up with much more customers in emergency conditions, and requires no further software program or protocols to allow communications. Users can be related on to emergency providers which can be outfitted to obtain textual content messages, or to relay facilities with Apple-trained emergency specialists who’re able to contact PSAPs that can’t obtain textual content messages on the consumer’s behalf.

iPhone 14's Emergency SOS via satellite feature.
iPhone 14’s Emergency SOS by way of satellite tv for pc characteristic. Image supply: Apple

Apple says that it’s going to ultimately cost for the service, nevertheless it retains extending the trial interval and providing no less than a yr of service on new iPhones, so we don’t fairly know the way a lot we’ll find yourself paying for this characteristic in the long term simply but. It’s additionally unclear how a lot different firms like Google and Samsung will cost for it — if in any respect.

As somebody who camps and goes backpacking, I at the moment pay no less than $15 per 30 days for my Garmin inReach mini, a satellite tv for pc communicator that theoretically could possibly be changed by my iPhone 15 Pro at this level. Due to being within the backcountry sufficient, I already see the worth in accessing these sorts of providers — even when I’ve to pay for them. They are well worth the peace of thoughts.

Regardless of the associated fee, it is a implausible security characteristic that everybody ought to have, and I don’t care one bit if Google or Samsung wholly rip off Apple with their very own variations. While we are able to argue about firms ripping sure options off one another, well being and security options ought to unfold to each potential machine, no matter who carried out it first.

Hopefully, all of those firms rip much more well being and security options off of one another. We all stand to learn from options like this, so go forward, Google, Apple, and Samsung.

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