Connect with us

How to set up and use Emergency SOS on your iPhone in iOS 11

Apple News

How to set up and use Emergency SOS on your iPhone in iOS 11

How do you quickly call emergency services and notify your emergency contacts on your iPhone? With SOS on iOS 11.

Much like Emergency SOS on Apple Watch, you can trigger a call to emergency services using a shortcut on your iPhone. You will, hopefully, never need to use this quick-access feature, but it's not a bad idea to have it ready just in case. Here's how to set up and use Emergency SOS in iOS 11.

Apple occasionally offers updates to iOS, watchOS, tvOS, and macOS as closed developer previews or public betas for iPhone, iPad, Apple TV and Mac (sadly, no public beta for the Apple Watch). While the betas contain new features, they also contain pre-release bugs that can prevent the normal use of your iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Apple TV, or Mac, and are not intended for everyday use on a primary device. That's why we strongly recommend staying away from developer previews unless you need them for software development, and using the public betas with caution. If you depend on your devices, wait for the final release.

What is Emergency SOS?

Wherever you are in the world, there is likely access to some sort of emergency service for police, medical, or fire help. Different locations around the world have different call numbers for emergency services. Instead of having to know the local emergency service number, or waiting to be redirected from the number you've just called (like 911), you can be directly connected to the emergency number wherever you are using a shortcut on your iPhone.

When enabled, you can call emergency services without unlocking your iPhone by quickly pressing the Sleep/Wake button five times.

Once you've enabled Emergency SOS, you'll also be able to access the emergency contacts you have listed in the Health app from the Lock screen on your iPhone.

How to turn on Emergency SOS on iPhone

When enabled, you can call emergency services without unlocking your iPhone by quickly pressing the Sleep/Wake button five times. All you have to do is turn it on.

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap Emergency SOS in the menu list.
  3. Toggle the Auto Call switch on.
  4. Toggle Countdown Sound on or off, depending on whether you want to trigger a three-second warning sound that you're about to call emergency services.

The countdown sound can be a good or bad thing, depending on your situation. It can let you know when you've accidentally called emergency services so you can cancel the call before it's too late, but it can also make criminals aware of you're location if you're trying to hide.

You have to decide whether it's more important to know when you've accidentally called emergency services or be able to keep your iPhone silent if you need to.

How to use Emergency SOS on iPhone

It's fairly simple to call emergency services with iOS 11: Rapidly press the Sleep/Wake button five times.

It may even be a little too simple (we'll see how many people complain they've accidentally called emergency services). You can cancel the call at any time by pressing the big X button at the bottom of the screen. You've only got three seconds to hang up, so don't hesitate.

When you use Emergency SOS, it also notifies everyone in your emergency contacts (the ones you set up in the Health App).

How to disable Emergency SOS on iPhone

If you've decided that the possibility of accidentally calling emergency services outweighs the convenience of having a shortcut you can get to without unlocking your screen, you can disable it the same way you turned it on.

  1. Launch the Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap Emergency SOS in the menu list.
  3. Toggle the Auto Call switch off.

Any questions about SOS in iOS 11?

Do you have any questions about how Emergency SOS works, who it calls, and how to use it? Put them in the comments and we'll help you out.

Comments

More in Apple News

To Top