ATT Alerts (iPhone screenshot 001)

U.S. carrier AT&T announced Friday that its subscribers will soon start receiving Wireless Emergency Alerts to their iPhone 4S or iPhone 5 devices. Text notifications will include AMBER, Imminent Threat and Presidential Alerts and will be enabled following an upcoming carrier update pushed out to iPhone devices running iOS 6.1 or later.

Of the three types of alerts, users will be able to disable AMBER and Imminent Threat alerts. Presidential alerts, which are sent straight from the President, can’t be turned off…

According to the AT&T blog:

When the software update is delivered to your phone, you will see a message that states “Carrier Settings Update: new settings required for your device have been installed”.

After that, your iPhone 5 or 4S will receive all Wireless Emergency Alerts by default.

This carrier update is mandatory.

If you have an iPhone 4S or 5 but are not on iOS 6.1 or later, AT&T won’t be able to push the carrier update over-the-air but your next update through iTunes will include the current carrier settings.

These types of Government Alerts, part of the FCC’s CMAS program, are mandated by law and never count against your messaging plan.

You can turn them on or off in Settings > Notifications, except for Presidential Alerts which can’t be disabled.

Presidential Alerts are issued by the President of the United States or a designee.

Imminent Threat Alerts denote severe disasters where an imminent threat to life or property exists and include hurricanes, earthquakes and tornadoes.

AMBER Alerts are issued by the U.S. Department of Justice when a child is abducted.

The Wireless Association has more on the aforementioned alert types.

  • Victor

    Yeah my phone turned off when it did that earlier be warned!

    • Guest

      Simple solution:

      “You can turn them on or off in Settings > Notifications”

  • srmcg

    They will all be disabled immediately where possible. I do not care about these

  • RyanB

    It’s carrier updates like these that make me glad I’m in the UK.

  • Sal

    It was going off the other night for a tornado warning. It was pretty loud.

  • Jose Gonzalez

    I’m on iOS 7 beta 1 on the iPhone 4 and apparently I already have this turned on. Received some alerts two days ago actually and scared the crap out of me because I was not expecting it to do that! Lol

  • Abram Reyes

    The government is watching us.

  • Albert

    Will this update hurt those with the hacked carrier update?

    • Probably, as it’ll most likely clear and rewrite those modified parameters in the hacked carrier update.

      • Albert

        So i guess its been 2 days, have not yet received the update, but the other phones on my account are all updated…

  • Soon the government/police will be able to turn off your iDevice while in a certain geofenced area; it’s another government censorship built into iOS 6 and patented by Crapple.

    Hopefully a jailbreak tweak brings about the possibility to turn off all these censorship crap.

  • At

    This is not a government deal, it is a carrier deal. Which is why it is only AT&T, for now. I don’t mind this at all, I would like to know about tornados in my area and if there’s an amber alert and I could have the chance to save a child’s life and return them to their parents, I would jump at it. Not a big deal at all.

    • Albert

      i dont think this is true… AT&T is the only one that doesnt do this. Im pretty sure Verizon customers already get these alerts…

  • F P

    What are they planning???

  • john

    Anyone know what the version number is? When I go into settings> general> about I get the “carrier settings updated” message and tap ok, but it still says att 14.0??

    • you_fook


      • DavidB

        Adding FaceTime over cellular on grandfathered unlimited plan. check cellular setting and click FaceTime On.

  • seyss

    reads like an AT&T ad

  • eroomjt

    Probably comes with a snooping capability. Now we can be blackmailed and blackballed by the very government we finance.

  • Erik Vinson

    Big Brother is getting BIGGER!!!!! NSa taking our phone records is only the beginning of this Czar regime. Hitler will look like a school boy after this government gets done with us.

  • Truth

    When will a Cydia app be available to block the arrogant prick?

    • cd

      If you have ifile you can enable the presidential tab to be enabled or disabled I have the presidential tab enabled which means I can turn presidential alerts on or off