The potentially life-saving Emergency SOS feature which debuted on the Apple Watch with the release of watchOS 3 this fall is coming soon to your iPhone via a forthcoming iOS 10.2 software update. As my colleague Cody pointed out, Emergency SOS is now available on an iPhone with iOS 10.2 beta 2. Here’s a quick overview of Emergency SOS on the iPhone, how it’s invoked and what happens when you use it.
To enable Emergency SOS, slide the toggle labeled Click Sleep/Wake to Auto Call in Settings → General to the ON position. This prompts your iPhone to automatically call emergency services when you rapidly click the power button five times.
If you also want it to play a distinct sound while counting down, slide the Countdown Sound switch to the ON position. You’re all set—should you ever need to call emergency services, simply press the Sleep/Wake button quickly five times in a row and the device will automatically call your country’s version of 911.
TUTORIAL: using Emergency SOS on Apple Watch
The countdown timer permits you to cancel the call by tapping Stop Calling in case you initiated the feature by accident. Like your Apple Watch, an iPhone determines the correct phone number for emergency services where you live based on your current geographical location and your iPhone’s regional settings.
Using Emergency SOS on an iPhone automatically notifies cherry-picked contacts to let them know you need help. Those people shall receive an email containing your current geographical location and a message saying you have just called emergency services.
You can add people as your emergency contacts in iOS 10.2’s Health app.
According to release notes, Emergency SOS currently works in Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States.
Are you glad that Emergency SOS has made a leap onto the iPhone? Will you be turning this feature on when iOS 10.2 releases for public consumption? If not, why?