Become a MacRumors Supporter for $25/year with no ads, private forums, and more!

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
56,619
19,368



emergencysos-250x408.jpg
Repair technicians who work at Apple's repair facility in Elk Grove, California make frequent accidental 911 calls when testing Apple devices, Elk Grove police dispatcher Jamie Hudson told a local Sacramento news site.

The influx of calls started back in October of 2017, which coincides with the introduction of the Emergency SOS feature that was added to the iPhone with the launch of iOS 11.
"We've been seeing these calls for the last four months from Apple," said police dispatcher Jamie Hudson.

Dispatchers say the calls started back in October of 2017, and typically there's no one on the other line.
To activate Emergency SOS, iPhone 8 and iPhone X simply owners need to press and hold on the Side button while also holding the two volume buttons at the same time, or rapidly press on the side button five times. Older iPhone users simply need to press the Sleep/Wake button five times in rapid succession to call emergency services.

An Emergency SOS feature is also available on the Apple Watch and is activated by pressing on the side button of the device. It's not clear which devices are making the accidental calls, but placing a 911 call can be done with simple button presses on either device.

Elk Grove Police have received an average of 20 accidental 911 calls per day from Apple, adding up to about 1,600 calls since October. Police dispatcher Hudson says the calls take "valuable seconds" away from real 911 calls that could be life and death situations.
"The times when it's greatly impacting us is when we have other emergencies happening and we may have a dispatcher on another 911 call that may have to put that call on hold to triage the incoming call," he said.
It's not just the Elk Grove Police department that's affected -- the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department Communication Center has also received 47 accidental 911 calls since January 1, and sometimes, dispatchers can hear technicians working in the background. There is a loud tone and a countdown that plays when Emergency SOS is activated with the auto call feature, but it may be that repair technicians are not able to hear it.

In a statement, an Apple spokesperson said the company is aware of the 911 calls coming from the repair facility and is working with law enforcement officials to put a stop to it.
"We're aware of 911 calls originating from our Elk Grove repair and refurbishment facility. We take this seriously and we are working closely with local law enforcement to investigate the cause and ensure this doesn't continue."
Emergency SOS is a feature that's enabled on every iPhone and Apple Watch by default, and it can't be disabled, so Apple may need to come up with a unique solution for its repair facilities.

While Emergency SOS can't be turned off, there are settings that can be turned on to cut down on accidental calls. On Apple Watch, "Hold to Auto Call" can be disabled by opening up the Watch app, choosing the "General" section in "My Watch" and then selecting "Emergency SOS."

On iPhone, auto call can be disabled by opening up the Settings app, navigating to "Emergency SOS" and toggling off "Auto Call."

emergencysosiphone-800x711.jpg

With Auto Call disabled on iPhone or Apple Watch, the same button presses will still activate emergency services, but you will need to use physical interaction in the form of a finger sliding across the screen to call 911 (or other emergency services numbers depending on your country).

Emergency SOS was recently credited with saving a woman and her 9-month old baby after she was hit by a drunk driver. The woman lost her phone in the collision, but was able to use the SOS feature on her Apple Watch to make an emergency call.

In addition to contacting 911, Emergency SOS serves another important purpose on the iPhone -- it quietly and discreetly disables both Touch ID and Face ID, allowing iPhone users who are being threatened to lock down their phones and require passcode entry instead of biometrics.

Article Link: Apple's Elk Grove Repair Facility Makes ~20 Accidental 911 Calls a Day
 

TheTruth101

Suspended
Mar 15, 2017
248
806
Trust me... Apple is possessed by negligence. What a huge pile of garbage that company is. One of my best friends works there as a manager of whatever. He is actually the one who oversees the entire OS and iOS interfaces. When I talk to him, he keeps his mouth shut because he knows what I am saying is true. He is there because of the money and the reputation of the company but he knows the guts of Apple is pure garbage today.
 

vic_w

macrumors newbie
Feb 7, 2018
14
49
Reston, VA
Trust me... Apple is possessed by negligence. What a huge pile of garbage that company is. One of my best friends works there as a manager of whatever. He is actually the one who oversees the entire OS and iOS interfaces. When I talk to him, he keeps his mouth shut because he knows what I am saying is true. He is there because of the money and the reputation of the company but he knows the guts of Apple is pure garbage today.
BS. Let me guess ...Samsung?
 

JCoe13

macrumors 6502
Sep 9, 2014
342
478
Chicago, IL
Because they’re testing all the buttons when people complain things don’t work, or maybe water damage shorts out some buttons?

Right, but the phone would make it very well known that it's making the call. Their test procedure wouldn't be to press the button 5 times quickly and just sit there... The article made it seem like they were making the call and the technicians have no idea that the call is taking place.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ohio.emt

Reason077

macrumors 68030
Aug 14, 2007
2,905
2,318
I'm not surprised by this. The interface for Emergency SOS on the iPhone X is ridiculous.

The slider looks exactly the same as "slide to switch off" and appears on the same screen. No wonder people are activating it accidentally, I've almost done it several times myself!
 

mistasopz

macrumors 6502
Apr 14, 2006
374
1,542
This is some modern Apple-level quality right here. It could potentially distract from real emergencies and people can die as a result.
 

snowboarder

macrumors 6502a
Jun 9, 2007
536
1,995
They don't need bigger headquarters and more layers of useless "managers" and yes man mentality...
 

appleunderpants

macrumors newbie
Feb 25, 2016
13
34
I haven't found a single person that knew about this feature and there are apps like SafeTrek that do it better. It'd be hilarious to see a comparison of accidental calls versus real calls.

A feature that definitely looked great on paper for the greater good but not so much in practice.
 

joonyaboy

macrumors 6502
Jun 27, 2010
330
292
FL
Happened to me Riding my Motorcycle. Apple Watch called 911. Disabled it after that since the position of my wrists kept doing it. No worries.
 

DVD Plaza

macrumors member
Jan 12, 2008
61
82
adelaide.sa.au
I take off my Apple Watch when working in the yard as my gardening gloves repeatedly push against and activate the emergency call... had it with one of my work shirts too. Certainly needs some kind of tweak...
 
  • Like
Reactions: dredlew and j1mmyjm

spiddyman007

macrumors regular
Jun 17, 2017
172
74



emergencysos-250x408.jpg
Repair technicians who work at Apple's repair facility in Elk Grove, California make frequent accidental 911 calls when testing Apple devices, Elk Grove police dispatcher Jamie Hudson told a local Sacramento news site.

The influx of calls started back in October of 2017, which coincides with the introduction of the Emergency SOS feature that was added to the iPhone with the launch of iOS 11.To activate Emergency SOS, iPhone 8 and iPhone X simply owners need to press and hold on the Side button while also holding the two volume buttons at the same time, or rapidly press on the side button five times. Older iPhone users simply need to press the Sleep/Wake button five times in rapid succession to call emergency services.

An Emergency SOS feature is also available on the Apple Watch and is activated by pressing on the side button of the device. It's not clear which devices are making the accidental calls, but placing a 911 call can be done with simple button presses on either device.

Elk Grove Police have received an average of 20 accidental 911 calls per day from Apple, adding up to about 1,600 calls since October. Police dispatcher Hudson says the calls take "valuable seconds" away from real 911 calls that could be life and death situations.It's not just the Elk Grove Police department that's affected -- the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department Communication Center has also received 47 accidental 911 calls since January 1, and sometimes, dispatchers can hear technicians working in the background. There is a loud tone and a countdown that plays when Emergency SOS is activated with the auto call feature, but it may be that repair technicians are not able to hear it.

In a statement, an Apple spokesperson said the company is aware of the 911 calls coming from the repair facility and is working with law enforcement officials to put a stop to it.Emergency SOS is a feature that's enabled on every iPhone and Apple Watch by default, and it can't be disabled, so Apple may need to come up with a unique solution for its repair facilities.

While Emergency SOS can't be turned off, there are settings that can be turned on to cut down on accidental calls. On Apple Watch, "Hold to Auto Call" can be disabled by opening up the Watch app, choosing the "General" section in "My Watch" and then selecting "Emergency SOS."

On iPhone, auto call can be disabled by opening up the Settings app, navigating to "Emergency SOS" and toggling off "Auto Call."

emergencysosiphone-800x711.jpg

With Auto Call disabled on iPhone or Apple Watch, the same button presses will still activate emergency services, but you will need to use physical interaction in the form of a finger sliding across the screen to call 911 (or other emergency services numbers depending on your country).

Emergency SOS was recently credited with saving a woman and her 9-month old baby after she was hit by a drunk driver. The woman lost her phone in the collision, but was able to use the SOS feature on her Apple Watch to make an emergency call.

In addition to contacting 911, Emergency SOS serves another important purpose on the iPhone -- it quietly and discreetly disables both Touch ID and Face ID, allowing iPhone users who are being threatened to lock down their phones and require passcode entry instead of biometrics.

Article Link: Apple's Elk Grove Repair Facility Makes ~20 Accidental 911 Calls a Day
What’s the point of that. I already accidentally dialed 911 from that and even if I was in a situation where I couldn’t look at the screen to dial 911 why would I want the phone to make that loud ass noise as I hold the button??
 
  • Like
Reactions: GrumpyMom
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.