How to Use SOS Emergency Features on Your Phone

Both iOS and Android devices have a built in Emergency SOS feature. Setting up this feature will allow you to send an emergency SOS message with your last known location to your emergency contacts. This feature could be a lifesaver if you find yourself in a dangerous situation where you are unable to talk safely. There is also another feature that allows you to call emergency services quickly and discreetly without having to dial a number. This article will show you how to set up and use these SOS emergency features for iPhone, Android and smartwatches.

Note: Fortunately the procedure is fairly standard across each device, allowing you to easily find the feature, even if it is not your phone.

SOS Emergency for iPhone

How does the SOS Emergency Feature work on iPhone? When you activate the SOS emergency call, your iPhone will automatically call the local emergency number. In certain countries you may need to select the service you need (police, fire or ambulance).

Once the call has finished, your iPhone can send a text message to your emergency contacts. This message will contain your current location, and will update them if your location suddenly changes.

How to Initiate SOS Emergency Call on iPhone

iPhone 8 or Later

  • To make the Emergency SOS call on iPhone 8 or later, press and hold the side button and one of the Volume buttons until the Emergency SOS slider appears.
  • Swipe the Emergency SOS slider to call the emergency services.
  • If you continue to hold down the side button and Volume button, a countdown will initiate and an alert will sound. If you do not release the buttons before the countdown has ended, your iPhone will automatically call the emergency services.

iPhone 7 or Earlier
To activate the Emergency SOS on iPhone 7s or earlier, you have to:

  • press the power button 5 times in a row
  • The “SOS Emergency” option will appear on the screen.

It also allows you to add emergency contacts to whom your iPhone will alert with an SMS after making your alert call and send them updates about your location.

If your phone doesn’t have a top button, then you will need to press the side button five times in rapid succession. In India, you need to press the button three times. The same “SOS Emergency” option will appear.

How to Add iPhone Emergency Contacts

To add emergency contacts on your iPhone:

  • Go to the iPhone Health app
  • Medical data
  • Edit
  • Emergency contacts.

After you set this up, this number will receive the SMS alert if you initiate the SOS emergency feature. With this information this person can come to your aid and inform the relevant authorities.

Apple Watch SOS Feature

The SOS Emergency Feature also exists on Apple Watches. Hold down on the side button until the Emergency SOS appears. Similar to the iPhone, continuing to hold the button will start a countdown before emergency services will be called.

Note:Your iPhone will need to be nearby to make the call, unless you have an LTE Apple Watch.

Setup SOS Emergency for Android

If you want to activate it on your Android phone, follow these steps:

  • Go to Settings
  • Advanced Features and select SOS Messages

  • Agree to the terms and conditions to setup your emergency contact
  • Add you emergency contact

Alternative setup
For some devices, this alternative setup may be required:

  • Go to Settings
  • Security and screen
  • Security and screen lock
  • Emergency rescue
  • Add your secure contacts.

Once configured, to send SOS messages you just have to press the power button three times in a row and a message will be sent with your location. It also allows you to include photos and videos taken with the front or rear camera, and even 5-second voice messages.

Samsung SOS Messages

Samsung phones have an SOS Message feature that allows you to send an emergency message after pressing the side key three times. This will send a message with your location. It will include pictures from your front and rear camera and an audio recording.

Xiamoi Emergency SOS

Xiaomi phones have an Emergency SOS feature. Enabling this will send a message with your location and an SOS message. To trigger this message press the power button five times in quick succession.

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