Earlier this year, the Government of India (DoT) had passed a law requiring all mobile devices sold in the country from January 1, 2017 onwards, to have a preinstalled “panic button” feature. It’s already November 2016 now, and it looks like Apple might just have conformed to the said law.

How to Enable Emergency SOS (Panic Button) on iPhone

An option called Emergency SOS has popped up iOS 10.2 Beta, which allows you to activate Emergency SOS feature on iPhone. Emergency SOS will allow you to automatically dial local emergency services by pressing the Power button five times in quick succession. Thus, in case of an emergency, now you can call for emergency services even without having to take your iPhone out of the pocket.

How Emergency SOS feature on iPhone works

Once Emergency SOS has been activated (by pressing the Power button rapidly 5 times), the iPhone will sound an alarm and start a 3 second countdown. If you have accidentally triggered the SOS, you may cancel it within this time. After the 3 second countdown is over, the iPhone will automatically call the emergency number.

Enable Emergency SOS (Panic Button) feature on iPhone

If for some reason, you want to toggle the Emergency SOS feature on iPhone, here’s how you do it.

  1. Launch Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap on General >> Emergency SOS.
  3. Toggle the Click Sleep/Wake to Auto Call switch.

Turning the switch off will disable Emergency SOS feature on your iPhone; turning on will enable it.

Disable SOS Countdown Sound on iPhone

There are situations when you may need to call emergency services without sounding an alarm. Or you may not like the blaring sound the countdown alarm makes when you trigger SOS. In such cases, you can disable the Countdown Sound without disabling the SOS feature altogether. Your iPhone will still respond to the Emergency SOS trigger, and it will still count to 3 before dialing the emergency services in your area, but it will do so silently. Here’s how you can toggle the countdown sound during SOS.

  1. Launch Settings app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap on General >> Emergency SOS.
  3. Toggle the Countdown Sound switch.

Turning the switch off will disable Countdown Sound; turning on will enable it.

Emergency SOS may help you get out of critical situations, and even alert the authorities automatically. It’s always good to know that you can at least call for help when the situation demands.

As of now, there is no customization option available to edit the Emergency SOS number. For the US, triggering the SOS dials 911. For other regions, it is not yet confirmed how the emergency number will be updated. Guess we have to just wait for the official release of iOS 10.2 to find out.

What do you think of the new Emergency SOS feature? Let us know in the comments below.