Have you ever accessed the SOS Emergency feature on your mobile device or smartwatch? Your mobile device can as well be used as an emergency device. There are certain features you can use to ping your last location to an emergency contact in some situations. And the latest smartphones and watches allow you do that.
I am sure you know what emergency refers to? There are a lot of some daily situations one might need to access a quick contact. Read on this article to know more about the SOS Emergency feature, and how it works.
SOS Emergency Feature
Why would you want to set up emergency SOS location tracking? There’s a variety of scenarios where you may not be able to talk on the phone. But you will be able to find a way to send your location to trusted individuals.
You can also have an easy way to directly call the emergency services through these features too. So, they’re worth setting up for when you may need them in the future.
This guide will teach you how to set up the equivalent features on your iPhone, Android phone or an alternative. Not all fitness trackers or wearables sport these features, but most smartphones do.
SOS Emergency Feature on iPhone And Apple Watch
Emergency SOS Feature is already available when you take an iPhone out of the box. But there are some ways you can set it up to work better.
iPhone 8 or later
If you own an iPhone 8 or later, you can hold down the side button and the volume buttons. Then, you’ll find a slider on the screen that says “Emergency SOS”.
If you drag this across, it will make an immediate call to the emergency services.
While if you can’t slide this across, continue to hold down the buttons and you’ll find your phone makes an alert noise with a countdown.
That countdown will finish with the phone calling the emergency services. So, this is particularly useful if you can’t take your phone out of a pocket.
iPhone 7 or earlier
Own an older iPhone? This will work differently, and you’ll want to hit the side button five times in rapid succession.
Then the Emergency SOS feature slider will appear where you can immediately make the call.
When the call has finished, it’ll then send your emergency contacts a text message with your current location.
You have the option to cancel this before the messages are sent. But for this to work you’ll need to have emergency contacts set up.
How to add an emergency contact
Why would you want an emergency contact? First off, it can help emergency services identify who to contact. And on Apple devices, these people will immediately receive a message of your location after your call with the emergency services.
To set this up, click on the Health app and press on the profile picture. In here, you’ll find an option called Medical ID and at the bottom of the page, you’ll find an option called emergency contacts.
Here is where you can enter the information of the contact, a relationship, and their phone number as well. Tap on done afterward, and you’ve set up your emergency contact. You can have several of these on your iPhone at one time.
How does it work on Apple Watch?
A similar feature exists for those with an Apple Watch. And you can hold down on the side button for a few moments until the Emergency SOS feature appears.
Note that your iPhone will need to be nearby to make the call. Unless you have an LTE version of the Apple Watch.
If you continue to hold down the button, a countdown will begin. And at the end of the countdown, the call to emergency services will begin.
After that, your emergency contacts will receive the same text with your location like if you were doing this on an iPhone.
How does it work on Android phones?
On Android phones, these features differ depending on the manufacturer. You can often find the information you need by searching in your phone’s Settings for phrases such as SOS messages or simply the word emergency.
How does it work on Garmin watches?
Garmin offers two emergency tracking options, which you can find in the Garmin Connect app. Incident Detection & Assistance sends an emergency message to a chosen contact when your watch detects sudden deceleration.
The message will include a Google Maps link showing your location, so your emergency contact can find you. But you’ll have a little time to cancel it before it sends if you just took a harmless tumble.
LiveTrack allows friends and family to follow your location live during a GPS-tracked activity. And is useful for both safety reasons, and so they can follow your progress during a race.
Before you can use either of these features, you’ll need to set up at least one emergency contact. Tap the button at the top left to open the main menu, and select Contacts.
Then tap the icon at the top right and select Create Contact. Enter the person’s first and last name, their phone number, and if you want to, their email address. When you’re done, tap Save.
Now return to the main menu, select Safety, and Tracking, and choose either Incident Detection or LiveTrack to set up your contact.
You can have both features enabled, with the same emergency contact or different ones. Bear in mind that both these features require a cellular connection.
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