I called 911 from my watch without service

Discussion in 'Apple Watch' started by RonFromOregon, Sep 29, 2018.

  1. RonFromOregon macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jul 16, 2008
    #1
    I was playing around and accidentally completed a call to 911 on my Apple Watch Series 4.
    - I have no service activated on my watch
    - The call went through in about 3 seconds (I've heard of delays up to 2 minutes when calling without service activated). I disconnected as soon as I heard an automated message (0 for police, 1 for fire, etc).
    - A minute or two later, I got a recorded message call back on my iPhone saying that if there is a real emergency, please call back.
     
  2. KrisLord macrumors 65832

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2008
    Location:
    Northumberland, UK
    #2
    Where was your phone during this?
     
  3. caspergirl macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 15, 2010
    #3
    Maybe attempted the call by using the iPhone like calling from iPad by using the SIM card if the iPhone
     
  4. iamasmith macrumors 6502

    iamasmith

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2015
    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
    #4
    IIRC cell phones in the USA, all of them, activated or not and locked or not need to be useable to call emergency services which may explain a cellular Apple Watch being able to do so.

    This particular thing gives rise to a lot of wasted 911 calls on Christmas Day when folks want to try their gifted phones before they got a SIM.
     
  5. iVegas macrumors 6502

    iVegas

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2013
    #5
    Any cell phone device can call 911 with or without service.
     
  6. cwanja macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jun 23, 2010
    Location:
    Texas
    #6
    Do you have a watch that has the cellular option? If so, the replies will be the reason why. If not, likely was connected to your phone and your phone made the call.

    Which brings me to a question - can you tell from the phone app whether a call was made from the watch or your phone? Is there an icon next to the "outgoing" icon? I realize the Watch has its own number and all, but it is "synced" to your phone number.
     
  7. iamasmith macrumors 6502

    iamasmith

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2015
    Location:
    Cheshire, UK
    #7
    On my S3 it shows the same list on the watch as on the iPhone. You could check your carrier bill as on EE in the UK there's a seperate number for billing purposes which isn't actually used to address the phone but may give you more detail.
     
  8. gigaguy macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2010
    Location:
    USA
    #8
    iVegas is right, in the US anyway. The phone is not needed to call 911, the LTE Watch can call 911
    with no activated service plan.
     
  9. Mac 128 macrumors 603

    Mac 128

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2015
    #9
    How do people not know this!?

    What do they think that “lifeline” charge on their phone bill is for?
     
  10. Farrellcollie macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2011
    #10
    I didn't know it. I did not even pay attention to a lifeline charge on my bill. And if I had seen it, I still would not have known what it was.
     
  11. Mac 128 macrumors 603

    Mac 128

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2015
    #11
    Actually “lifeline” is a catch all phrase, that applies to specific low cost services subsidized by full paying customers.

    Various carriers may have different names for it, but at least on ATTs bills, it’s actually listed plainly as a 911 Emergency Service fee.

    https://www.att.com/ecms/dam/att/consumer/help/pdf/Wireless-Sample-Bill-Guide.pdf

    At a minimum, people should be asking questions about the charges that appear on their bills, but outside of that, this kind of essential information should be taught to school kids, and provided to new work hires as part of safety orientation, etc. Anyone can access emergency services from any phone device, whether it has service or not, whether they know the passcode to unlock it or not.

    It’s just surprising to me that people don’t know this, especially in a world increasingly devoid of land line phones. Then again, I also read the emergency procedures card on any airplane type I haven’t flown before, so I guess I shouldn’t be.
     
  12. tromboneaholic Suspended

    tromboneaholic

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2004
    Location:
    Clearwater, FL
    #12
    I mentioned it in another thread, but 911 emergency service is a good reason to choose the cellular watch even if you don't plan on activating the cellular service.
     
  13. scriptkitten macrumors regular

    scriptkitten

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2007
    #13
    I know I can turn of the screeching alert on my watch/phone when I activate the emergency call but can I prevent a 911 operator from being all “hello hello hello”? As a woman, if I’m being attacked or hiding I might not want the 911 operator to out my location.
     
  14. Mac 128 macrumors 603

    Mac 128

    Joined:
    Apr 16, 2015
    #14
    How effective is placing a finder over the speaker grille on the side of the S4 as way to physically mute it? Then they could effectively hear you whisper into the mic your situation without necessarily engaging in a conversation.

    Man or woman, there are always situations where a person would not want their location revealed.
     

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13 September 29, 2018