Ten missing hikers in California canyon rescued after using Apple’s Emergency SOS feature

A user can quickly and easily call for help and alert your emergency contacts with the Emergency SOS feature. Here is how it works, according to Apple Support.  

When you make a call with SOS, your iPhone will call the local emergency number automatically and share your location information with the emergency services.

In some countries and regions, you may need to choose the service that you need. For example, in China mainland you can choose police, fire or ambulance. 

When SOS appears in your iPhone status bar, it means a mobile network is available for emergency calls.

You can also add emergency contacts. After an emergency call has ended, your iPhone can alert your emergency contacts with a text message, unless you choose to cancel this option. 

Your iPhone will send your current location, and for a period of time after you’ve entered SOS mode, your emergency contacts will receive updates when your location changes.

On iPhone 14, you can even use Emergency SOS via satellite to text the emergency services when no mobile and Wi-Fi coverage is available.

Call the emergency services

Make the call on iPhone 8 or later:

In iOS 16.3, you release the buttons after the countdown to make an emergency services call.

Press and hold the side button and one of the volume buttons until the Emergency SOS slider appears.

Drag the Emergency Call slider to call the emergency services. If you continue to hold down the side button and volume button, instead of dragging the slider, a countdown will start and an alert will sound. 

If you release the buttons after the countdown, your iPhone will call the emergency services automatically.

Make the call on iPhone 7 or earlier:

Press the side (or top) button five times rapidly. The Emergency Call slider will appear.

Drag the Emergency SOS slider to call the emergency services.

After the call has ended, your iPhone will send your emergency contacts a text message with your current location, unless you choose to cancel. If Location Services is turned off, it will turn on temporarily.

If your location changes, your contacts will get an update and you’ll receive a notification about 10 minutes later.

On iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models, your phone can call the emergency services and send a message to your emergency contacts when a severe car crash is detected. 

Find out more about Crash Detection on your iPhone or Apple Watch.

If you use the Emergency SOS shortcut, you’ll need to enter your passcode to re-enable Touch ID or Face ID, even if you don’t complete a call to the emergency services.

Use Emergency SOS on your Apple Watch


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