Personal safety is something we all take very seriously. No one likes to be in a situation where they feel threatened or unsafe, no matter how pertinent the fear may seem. This is something many of us deal with. Walking alone late at night, in a parking garage with just one or two other people, situations such as these can make you feel unsafe and hyper-aware of your surroundings. This is especially true for women of all ages, as more and more stories of kidnapping and missing girls are seen in the news. Apple has decided to address their users concerns about personal safety by adding a new emergency feature in the iOS 11 update.
The update features emergency SOS activation that is simpler to use and provides a quicker response in the case of an emergency. To activate the feature there are two possible methods depending on which iPhone you have. For the iPhone 7, 7 Plus, and other older models the emergency feature is activated by rapidly pressing the lock button 5 times in a row. For those with the iPhone 8, 8 Plus or iPhone X this feature can be accessed by pressing and holding the side button along with one of the volume buttons at the same time. Performing either of these actions based on your iPhone model will bring you to the power down screen, where the option of Medical ID and Emergency SOS are displayed. This screen displays these options in a manner which allows the user to choose what they would like to do. This is in place so that you do not accidently call emergency services by leaving your phone in your pocket or by giving your phone to a small child. This iPhone update also has an Auto Call option which you can enable to call as soon as you do the required action.
To enable Auto Call you first must go into the setting application on your phone. From here you scroll down the list until you reach the “Emergency SOS” option. Select this option and then swipe the Auto Call toggle to be on. It should be all the way to the right. To turn the Auto Call off simple slide the switch back to the left. When Auto Call is enabled your phone will automatically dial 911 or other emergency services if you are in another country. This feature would be useful if you are in a situation that would stop you from sliding the appropriate option on your screen. Don’t worry though, if you enable and make an auto call accidentally, there is an option to set a three second timer that would allow you to stop the call before it is made.
The iOS 11 emergency setting also has a feature which allows users to list emergency contacts in the case that one is needed. Emergency contacts are set up in the health app. You must choose the medical ID option and then select edit which is located in the top right corner. Scroll down to the emergency contacts section and select the “+” button to add a contact. You can add multiple contacts and even choose what relation they are to you. It can be useful to add an emergency contact in case you find yourself in a situation where you are unconscious or incoherent and are unable to make decisions for yourself. The emergency contact feature further takes iPhone users safety into consideration, and can be a comfort to individuals.
If you ever find yourself in a situation where you need to help another person, you can use their iPhone to not only alert authorities and the correct personnel, but to also let their listed emergency contact know what has happened to them. This is useful so that you may gain any important information on the person such as health or medical concerns and risks. This makes the Medical ID tool useful in more ways than one.
One side effect from enabling the emergency SOS or Medical ID services is that your phone will be temporarily locked. This means that you will not be able to unlock your phone with your finger print or facial scanners, and instead you must input your passcode. This keeps the information you have on your phone safe, even if you may not be in a very safe situation or location.
Something that makes this feature notable is that it is compatible with emergency services you may not even know exist. This means that with the new iOS 11 software update iPhone users can remain safe while traveling at home or abroad. With the ability to place emergency calls so quickly, iPhone users can rest assured in knowing that they will be able to reach the right people in a timely fashion. This new development in personal safety shows people that they are cared for, and they can rely on Apple products even more.
Brian Gray, MCP, is the President at Kraft Technology Group, LLC (KTG), an affiliate of KraftCPAs PLLC. Within his role, Brian is responsible for all aspects of service delivery to our clients. Brian has a decade of experience working for managed service providers. He has worked with clients in a variety of industries, including financial services, accounting, legal, healthcare, manufacturing, and retail.