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Toronto Police to iPhone Users: Stop Testing Emergency 911 Feature in iOS 11

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iOS 11 contains a new Emergency SOS feature, which will call emergency services when users click their Sleep/Wake button five times on their iPhone.

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According to Apple’s documentation the iPhone users navigate to Settings > Emergency SOS:

When you use Emergency SOS, your device will attempt to call emergency services. To allow the dispatcher to assist you, this call may include your location, regardless of whether you enable Location Services. Once the call ends, you can choose to notify your emergency contacts with a message that says you have called emergency services. This message also includes your current location. You can manage your emergency contacts by editing your Medical ID in the Health app on iPhone.

For a limited period of time, your device will send updates to your emergency contacts as your location changes. You’ll receive a notification when this happens. When you use Emergency SOS on your Apple Watch you may stop these updates by selecting Stop Sharing in the notification on your Apple Watch. When you use Emergency SOS on your iPhone you may stop these updates by tapping the status bar on your iPhone and selecting Stop Sharing Emergency Location.

If Location Services is disabled, it will be temporarily enabled in order to notify your emergency contacts with your location. If you don’t want to send your location to your emergency contacts, open Settings on your iPhone, tap Privacy, tap Location Services, choose System Services, and turn off Emergency SOS.

Now, knowing this feature is available in iOS 11, it appears many users in Toronto were testing it out, overwhelming 911 lines, according to Toronto Police yesterday on Twitter, saying:

“New iOS Operating System 911 feature. Please DO NOT try it out~Toronto Police receiving many test calls that ties up our 911 lines #IOS 11 ^sk”:

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The Emergency SOS feature is also available on Apple Watch, when users press and hold the side button

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The option to disable Auto Call can be found in the Apple Watch app, under General > Emergency SOS > Hold to Auto Call.

When users enter Emergency SOS mode, it disables Touch ID for iPhone users. When iPhone X launches, Emergency SOS will be launched differently, as users will need to press the sleep/wake button and volume up button at the same time.

Emergency SOS is an awesome idea, especially in situation when you need to discreetly call 911 (Update: you need to disable Countdown Sound for a silent call), or when you are unable to reach your iPhone (using Apple Watch instead).

[via AppleInsider]

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  • Kellie

    IT is an awesome idea… if you don’t have a toddler!!!

  • BeaveVillage

    Press Shift 5 times on your PC instead, nothing like a little Sticky Keys action.

  • Wait, I thought that brings up Clippy!

  • Nick

    FYI It looks like in the settings for this you need to disable ‘play warning sound’ if you want your call to be discreet. Otherwise when you think you’re quietly calling 911, your phone will play a blaring alarm.. that’s what the watch does anyway.

  • Aleks Oniszczak

    I think emergency services need to set up a system where you can test these kinds of things out. Not good to wait until an emergency to try to remember how to call on your watch in a panic. I’d love to have my kids practice calling somehow as well. There’s a phone number to call Santa at Christmas, but no phone number or system to practice something that really maters. I know that some places in the US allow for this, why not here?

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