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iOS 11 Emergency SOSAnthony Karcz

If only the warning sound was the refrain of "Urgent" by Foreigner

Looks like there was one big feature that I (along with nearly everyone else) missed when I wrote up iOS 11 Public Beta 5 earlier this week. As reported by The Verge, the latest build brings with it some new functionality for the Emergency SOS feature.

Way back in June, outlets started reporting that the latest version of iOS would have an Emergency SOS option where, when enabled, it would automatically call the appropriate emergency number for your region (911 in the US), plus play a warning sound while counting down to call when you press the Sleep/Wake button five times in a row. It’s essentially a big "Back Off!" button for when you are in trouble and need your phone to contact the police when you might not be able to. It’s also useful for when you can’t click the Emergency link on your iPhone’s home screen, but need help.

In the latest iOS 11 Public Beta, that feature does even more. Even if you don’t have Emergency SOS enabled, when you press the Sleep/Wake button on your iOS device five times in rapid succession you can either access the Emergency SOS feature, power off your phone, or access your Medical ID (more on that in a second). Even better, activating the feature disables Touch ID, even if you don’t use the Emergency SOS slider . To get back in to your iOS device, you have to enter your passcode.

It’s a great way to stay safe and keep your phone secure, especially if you think someone might try to use your Touch ID without your permission.

Enabling Emergency SOS

Anthony Karcz

Better than a message in a bottle

The Emergency SOS feature is accessible from the main menu of the Settings app. From here, you can turn it on to have your phone immediately call 911 (or the appropriate service) when triggered, specify your emergency contacts (which it will pull from your Medical ID), and give you the option to play a warning sound while counting down.

About those emergency contacts, anyone that you’ve identified as such in your Medical ID will also receive a notification that you’ve triggered Emergency SOS and be provided your last location.

Creating a Medical ID

Anthony Karcz

A couple of seconds could save your life

If you haven’t created a Medical ID for iOS yet, you need to do so immediately. As I discovered back when I created mine, it’s one of the easiest things you can do to ensure that if there’s a situation where you can’t respond, your vital information is still available to first responders.

In the Health app, click the Medical ID icon and click Create Medical ID. From there you enter all the information you feel comfortable sharing (remember, anyone can access this without your Touch ID or passcode) and click Done. It only takes a few minutes but it’s vitally important to keeping you, well, vital.

As a runner, I frequently find myself on my own or surrounded by strangers. Enabling Emergency SOS and Medical ID are two ways that I can keep myself safe and give my family piece of mind that if something happens, they’ll know right away.

Medical ID is available today on any iPhone running iOS 10. Emergency SOS will be available for everyone who upgrades to iOS 11 when it launches next month. Until then, be careful out there.

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iOS 11 Emergency SOSAnthony Karcz

If only the warning sound was the refrain of “Urgent” by Foreigner

Looks like there was one big feature that I (along with nearly everyone else) missed when I wrote up iOS 11 Public Beta 5 earlier this week. As reported by The Verge, the latest build brings with it some new functionality for the Emergency SOS feature.

Way back in June, outlets started reporting that the latest version of iOS would have an Emergency SOS option where, when enabled, it would automatically call the appropriate emergency number for your region (911 in the US), plus play a warning sound while counting down to call when you press the Sleep/Wake button five times in a row. It’s essentially a big “Back Off!” button for when you are in trouble and need your phone to contact the police when you might not be able to. It’s also useful for when you can’t click the Emergency link on your iPhone’s home screen, but need help.

In the latest iOS 11 Public Beta, that feature does even more. Even if you don’t have Emergency SOS enabled, when you press the Sleep/Wake button on your iOS device five times in rapid succession you can either access the Emergency SOS feature, power off your phone, or access your Medical ID (more on that in a second). Even better, activating the feature disables Touch ID, even if you don’t use the Emergency SOS slider . To get back in to your iOS device, you have to enter your passcode.

It’s a great way to stay safe and keep your phone secure, especially if you think someone might try to use your Touch ID without your permission.

Enabling Emergency SOS

Anthony Karcz

Better than a message in a bottle

The Emergency SOS feature is accessible from the main menu of the Settings app. From here, you can turn it on to have your phone immediately call 911 (or the appropriate service) when triggered, specify your emergency contacts (which it will pull from your Medical ID), and give you the option to play a warning sound while counting down.

About those emergency contacts, anyone that you’ve identified as such in your Medical ID will also receive a notification that you’ve triggered Emergency SOS and be provided your last location.

Creating a Medical ID

Anthony Karcz

A couple of seconds could save your life

If you haven’t created a Medical ID for iOS yet, you need to do so immediately. As I discovered back when I created mine, it’s one of the easiest things you can do to ensure that if there’s a situation where you can’t respond, your vital information is still available to first responders.

In the Health app, click the Medical ID icon and click Create Medical ID. From there you enter all the information you feel comfortable sharing (remember, anyone can access this without your Touch ID or passcode) and click Done. It only takes a few minutes but it’s vitally important to keeping you, well, vital.

As a runner, I frequently find myself on my own or surrounded by strangers. Enabling Emergency SOS and Medical ID are two ways that I can keep myself safe and give my family piece of mind that if something happens, they’ll know right away.

Medical ID is available today on any iPhone running iOS 10. Emergency SOS will be available for everyone who upgrades to iOS 11 when it launches next month. Until then, be careful out there.

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