The new iOS turns safety up to 11.
Apple’s iOS 11 has a new safety feature, Emergency SOS, which allows you to discreetly call emergency services or an emergency contact if you feel you are in danger.
By pressing the power button five times, a swipe screen will come up, prompting you to power the phone off, call your Medical ID (your emergency contact) or call emergency services (in the U.S., it should default to 911).
Using this feature will also turn off Touch and Face ID, requiring a passcode to unlock the phone, preventing someone from opening it without the owner’s consent.
It’s that time of year again when everyone downloads the new iOS for their iPhones and immediately regret it. But some of the latest features on the new iOS 11 might make the initial bugs and glitches worth it.
When activated, the feature can also send your location, even if you’ve turned Location Services off, to your emergency contacts, alerting them that you’ve contacted 911.
The most concerning bit about this feature is the “Countdown Sound” that is available, where a three-second alarm will play before 911 is called, giving you time to cancel and alerting anyone in the vicinity. Some fear it undoes the point of discretion, but others say it could possibly frighten off an attacker. It can also be disabled.
Many are encouraging women to turn it on immediately.
“ladies please set up emergency sos on your phone. you never know when you will need it,” said @__lovedomi.
“As a woman, or even as a man, I believe this EMERGENCY SOS feature will be very helpful. Check it out. Go into settings >scroll down,” tweeted @r0yalmisfit.
Emergency SOS isn’t the only new feature in iOS 11. Another safety feature is Do Not Disturb While Driving, which prevents the owner from receiving calls, messages and other alerts while driving. It’s senses you’re in a car using the accelerometer and enters Do Not Disturb mode. You can also set up automatic replies to text messages to let them know you are driving.
If you’re simply a passenger, you can press the “I’m not driving” pop-up, but hopefully Apple adjusts the feature for those who take public transportation more than they drive.
Users can also type to Siri instead of asking her questions out loud, Siri can translate a select number of languages, there is a customizable control center (the menu that appears when you swipe up from the bottom), and the camera can now automatically detect QR codes.
However, not all the new iOS features are appealing.
The option to turn off your WiFi and Bluetooth from the control center has changed. Rather than turning off the features, which can drain your battery when running in the background, the control center buttons simply disconnect you from devices connected to your phone. You have to go to Settings to turn them off completely.
Also, iOS 11 lets you record the activity on your screen, like a video screenshot, which some fear this will get in the way of their sexting.