You need to know about this new iPhone emergency feature

iPhone now has a fast and easy way to get help in an emergency – here’s how to activate the potentially life-saving feature.

If you’ve updated your iPhone to iOS 11, you have access to emergency help faster than ever before. Apple calls the feature Emergency SOS. Activate it, and your phone will automatically dial the appropriate local emergency number for you, no matter where you are.

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Here’s how it works. All you have to do is press the iPhone’s side button (sometimes called the power button or wake/sleep button) on the upper right-hand side of your phone, five times fast.

Immediately, your phone will spring into action. First, you’ll see a short countdown and hear an emergency tone, then your phone will begin to dial the number for emergency services. The brilliance of this is that you can be in various places around the world and your phone will know the right number to dial – even if you don’t.

For instance, here in the United States, the emergency number is 911 but in China, it’s 119. Some countries, like Japan, split up emergency numbers into Police or Fire – if this is the case, your iPhone will prompt you to pick the right one.

Once the call ends, your phone will automatically send a text to your emergency contacts with your location and they will continue to get updates on your location for a set period of time.

Where there is a short period where you can cancel the call to emergency services, I don’t recommend trying out this feature as you might accidentally dial 911. You can check to see that it’s activated on your phone by going into Settings > Emergency SOS. It should be right under Touch ID and Passcode in your main settings page.

Here you will find toggles for the 5 Clicks and Auto Call features. There is also a link here to the Health app to set up your emergency contacts. I highly recommend doing this.

Emergency SOS is a feature you hope you never have to use, but it’s nice to know you can summon help anywhere in the world with a few taps of the iPhone power button.

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