The New iPhone 14 May Not Have Changed Much, But It Includes Groundbreaking Safety Features That Have The Potential to Save Lives


With the recent release of Apple’s new iPhone 14, many die-hard Apple fanatics are clawing at the glass panes of Apple Stores to get their hands on one. Granted, the camera has stayed mostly the same and the majority of the internal processors have received only minor tweaks; however,there were still quite a few changes that were made to the design and function of this model that makes it different from every other phone Apple has produced thus far.

The multi-million dollar tech company has released the phone in four different variants: the iPhone 14, the iPhone 14 Plus, the iPhone 14 Pro, and the iPhone 14 Pro Max, each with slightly varying display sizes and camera systems.

First, let’s talk about the new dynamic island: For the iPhone 14 Pro and iPhone 14 Pro Max, Apple has completely replaced the upper notch found on iPhones 10-13 and replaced it with a new “dynamic island” design in which the selfie camera, TrueDepth sensor, proximity sensor, ambient light sensor, and ear speaker are all consolidated into a pill-shaped “island” that is separate from the top edge of the screen. 

The logic behind this was to increase the number of pixels they could fit into the space on an iPhone screen, most of which was being taken up by the camera system itself. While this does increase the pixel count as intended, widescreen video is still somewhat annoying to watch as the dynamic island actually gets in the way of it and blocks that area of the screen.

The iPhone 14 also introduced two new revolutionary safety features that could save lives in dire circumstances. In fact, they’re arguably the better features of the latest models.

The first of these features is vehicle crash detection and automatic emergency SOS calling. The new iPhone series received a massive overhaul to its internal sensor array, which included updates and additions to the phone’s gyroscope, high-g accelerometer, GPS antenna, barometer and microphone. By using these newly upgraded sensors, iPhone can now detect if you’ve been in a severe car collision.

Similarly to the Apple Watch’s fall detection function, a feature that has been in use since the release of the Series 4 in 2018, the iPhone 14 will wait a few moments before calling emergency services if it believes you’ve been in a crash, allowing time for you to dismiss the call if it was made accidentally or call emergency services manually. 

However, if you are not conscious, and the iPhone does not receive a response, it will call emergency services for you using an automated message.

“The owner of this iPhone was in a severe car crash and is not responding to their phone,” the message would begin. Shortly afterward, the latitude and longitude of the user would be provided, followed by their estimated search radius. Emergency dispatchers would then be able to send emergency services to the location of the crash right away, rather than having to wait for the driver to wake up or another person to report it.

It should be noted that this technology is far from perfect, and will certainly require fine tuning in the future. Many iPhones have been automatically calling 911 after car crashes without the user knowing when there actually  isn’t a crash to begin with. According to a Twitter post by Joanna Stern, a Technology Columnist for the Wall Street Journal, “Since the iPhone 14 went on sale, the 911 dispatch center near Kings Island amusement park has received at least six phone calls saying ‘The owner of this iPhone was in a severe car crash…’ Except, the owner was just on a rollercoaster.” A similar occurrence happened with the release of Fall Detection with the Apple Watch Series 4, where many 911 dispatch centers in snowy areas were flooded with automated 911 calls from skiers who were just trying to traverse down a mountain.

The second safety feature on the new phones is a breakthrough in emergency telecommunications technology.

Suppose a person is hiking in the wilderness alone and they get terribly lost. While they are trying to retrace their steps, they break their leg by tripping over a log. They are now lost, injured and stranded, with night quickly approaching. They try to call for help using their phone, but there’s no cell reception at all. They’re out in the middle of nowhere — there isn’t a cell tower for miles. So they’re just stuck there, right? It’s unlikely that they’ll escape, right? They’ll probably succumb to starvation or blood loss or exposure or any number of terrifying fates, right?


With any iPhone 14 model, you now can call for help from anywhere in the world with the new Emergency SOS via satellite feature. Apple has introduced an onboard antenna to the new lineup that is, granted, still quite weak in comparison to an actual cell tower, but is just strong enough to transmit an emergency SOS signal with your location, name, medical information and nature of emergency directly to a satellite. This way, a cell tower connection is not necessary; users will be able to get help from anywhere in the world even if they are in the most remote place on Earth.

The equipment on these new phones are still quite delicate though. In order for satellite SOS to function, the phone needs a clear view of the sky and nice large area with minimal obstructions. Trees, mountains and buildings greatly interfere with the phone’s ability to transmit a signal. Even without obstructions, the phone still takes a few minutes to transmit a simple text message. But, in the grand scheme of this situation, having any form of communication at all in dire straits is a technological miracle.

Whether you’re stuck in the wilderness, the victim of a terrible car crash, or are just looking for a new phone to flex to your friends, the iPhone 14 will get the job done.