Apple added a new feature to iOS 11 that makes it easier to get help in an emergency.
Called Emergency SOS, the feature turns your sleep/wake button into a panic button — and you should set it up now before you need it.
Here’s how it works: When you turn on the Emergency SOS feature, the button on the right-hand side of your phone can quickly call emergency services — all you need to do is click the sleep/wake button rapidly five times.
While there’s always the risk of accidentally activating Emergency SOS, the benefits far outweigh the risks. It’s quicker than manually unlocking your phone and dialling 9-1-1, and it’s ideal for anyone who feels like they’re in an unsafe situation, but don’t want to attract attention.
To set it up, head to your Settings app — Emergency SOS lives in the third section:
Opening that tab will take you to the set-up page. There’s a helpful GIF that shows you how to activate the feature, and a few additional options. To actually turn on Emergency SOS, press the button that says “Auto Call,” then toggle the “Countdown Sound” button too, just in case.
If you accidentally start to call emergency services, you’ll hear a warning sound first.
You may want to add an emergency contact or two while you’re at it — that way, people close to you will know you’re in trouble whenever you use Emergency SOS, since your phone will notify them whenever you activate the feature. You’ll need to do that in the Health app, but it only takes a few seconds.
Want more iOS 11 tips? Check out Business Insider’s round-up of hidden features in iOS 11.
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