The new iPhone update iOs 11 is officially out and is available on smartphones as far back as the iPhone 5S. The redesigned software includes some rather big changes, minor tweaks as well as one hidden feature that could keep women safe, and potentially save lives.
In the past, you could only call 911 from a locked screen, or by saying to Siri “charge my phone 100 percent.” However, dialing 911 from a locked phone didn’t always work, especially if the phone had a cracked screen, and the latter really wasn’t that discreet.
Hopefully you will never have to use the new feature, but if you are ever in a jam where bringing your phone or even speaking to it would be dangerous, now all you have to do is quickly press the sleep/wake button five times, and this will automatically get you in contact with emergency services. Also, if you have an emergency contact already programmed in your phone it will let them know that you’re in trouble as well as dispatch your location.
A countdown noise also comes with the new feature so just in case you somehow accidentally trigger the emergency function there’s no need to worry, and you’ll have the chance to cancel. You do have the choice to turn that countdown sound off in your settings, and you may want to if you’re in a circumstance where an iPhone sound could possibly alert a potential criminal to your location, which hopefully again is never a situation you find yourself in.
The co-director of the End Violence Against Women Coalition, Sara Green, noted to the HuffPost UK that the new tool is “potentially a great piece of support for women at risk.”
“It’s good to know that tech companies have their eye on tech solutions to counter abuse of women.” she added, “We hope there is work going on, for example, to disable and prevent the use of invisible tracking and surveillance apps by abusive men.”
For any woman out there who has ever felt threatened while walking home late at night by themselves now having the ability to make an emergency phone call without even unlocking the home screen—let alone dialing a number—is a total game changer.
Calling 911 in many cases can escalate a situation that’s already dangerous, and the new Emergency SOS feature will help women who are in danger, without ever alerting their attacker. Every woman should know the trick about this new update.