iOS 11's SOS Feature Allows You to Temporarily Disable Touch ID and Require Passcode

Discussion in 'MacRumors.com News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Aug 17, 2017.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot

    MacRumors

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    [​IMG]


    In iOS 11, Apple has added an "Emergency SOS" feature that's designed to give users a quick and easy way to summon emergency services should the need arise. As it turns out, there's a secondary benefit to Emergency SOS - it's also a way to quickly and discreetly disable Touch ID.

    Emergency SOS is activated by pressing on the sleep/wake button of an iPhone five times in rapid succession. When the requisite number of presses is complete, it brings up a screen that offers buttons to power off the iPhone, bring up your Medical ID (if filled out) and make an emergency 911 call.

    [​IMG]

    Along with these options, there's also a cancel button. If you hit the sleep/wake button five times and then hit cancel, it disables Touch ID and requires a passcode before Touch ID can be re-enabled. Touch ID is also disabled if you actually make an emergency call.

    This is a handy hidden feature because it allows Touch ID to be disabled discreetly in situations where someone might be able to force a phone to be unlocked with a fingerprint, such as a robbery or an arrest. With Touch ID disabled in this way, there is no way to physically unlock an iPhone with a finger without the device's passcode.

    It's also worth noting that there's no real way to tell that Touch ID has been disabled in this manner. Once you hit the sleep/wake button and then tap cancel, it's locked in the same way and with the same message that the iPhone uses when it's been more than 48 hours since a device was last unlocked with a fingerprint.

    Apple's Emergency SOS feature will be available on all iPhones that run iOS 11. Along with disabling Touch ID, SOS can also be used to summon emergency services and alert your emergency contacts when an accident occurs.

    iOS 11 is available to developers and public beta testers at the current time and will be released to the public in September alongside new iPhones.

    Article Link: iOS 11's SOS Feature Allows You to Temporarily Disable Touch ID and Require Passcode
     
  2. Wando64 macrumors 6502

    Wando64

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    #2
    This is a great idea, but why pressing 5 times?
    Surely 3 times would have been more than sufficient while making this action quicker and ultimately more usable.
     
  3. Shoju macrumors regular

    Shoju

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    #3
    That's actually great and makes a lot of sense! With "FaceID" around the corner, I was actually worried it may be even easier for others to force you to unlock your phone...
     
  4. fokmik macrumors 68040

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    #4
    in an emergency situation, believe me, you dont count, you will press that button 10 times in 3-4 seconds
    So this is great 5 times allows us not to bring this by mistake
     
  5. happydude macrumors 65816

    happydude

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    #5
    not that i plan on getting arrested any time soon, but good to know you can disable touch id. with the courts having ruled the police can compel a finger print but not you to give your passcode, it's a level of privacy that i like to see in there.
     
  6. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

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    #7
    I think the five times is to prevent any inadvertent actions. It's a rather fast Motion pressing five times to toggle the function if you think about it.
     
  7. macTW Suspended

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    #8
    A further innovation into discrete privacy. I like it.
     
  8. Defthand macrumors 6502a

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    #9
    ZERO people will recall this feature exists, or how to activate it, when a situation arises. Utterly convoluted.
     
  9. CerebralX macrumors 6502

    CerebralX

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    #10
    Great for when being pulled over by cops. Just tap it 5 times instead of turning it off and boom they can't get it.
     
  10. DTphonehome macrumors 68000

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    #11
    Apple isn't advertising it as such, but I think they did this to prevent law enforcement from forcing you to unlock with your finger (which they can do). They cannot, however, force you to give them your password.
     
  11. GeneralChang macrumors 65816

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  12. Relentless Power macrumors Penryn

    Relentless Power

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    When you factor in adrenaline in emergency situations, you're are correct. Blood flow is directed away from brain and recirculated to the large muscle masses, which makes it very difficult to make quick decisions and it affects memory retention. This feature is something would have to remember or at least be familiar with in the least. Although Better to have this SOS feature than not at all. I like Apple's thinking here.
     
  13. ActionableMango macrumors G3

    ActionableMango

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    #14
    3 taps is already an established function (reverse color) in iOS. Also, I accidentally do that function all the time when trying to do a double-tap, so it's a bad idea for emergencies.
     
  14. Mjmar macrumors 65816

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  15. Lobitdepth macrumors newbie

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    #16
    makes no sense having to press cancel... it defeats the purpose of emergency and discretely because you have to pull the phone to do it and advertise it at the same time... when you get robbed you don't pull your phone in front of the robbers... Cancel should not be required so you can do it in your pocket DISCRETELY.... ! why such complication ? at least make it a user option
     
  16. coolbreeze macrumors 68000

    coolbreeze

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    #17
    Where all these cops that are checking your cell phone when they pull you over? Serious question.

    In other words a win for ISIS?
     
  17. berrymetal macrumors regular

    berrymetal

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  18. ActionableMango macrumors G3

    ActionableMango

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    #19
    I don't understand the benefit of changing it from TouchID to PIN when getting mugged. If the robber is there to compel you to use your fingerprint to unlock it then they can just as easily compel you to unlock it with your PIN.
     
  19. GeneralChang macrumors 65816

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    #20
    I'm guessing you don't actually have to push cancel. The phone will probably go back to sleep after a few seconds if you don't do anything, at which point that would count as a cancel and the fingerprint sensor should be disabled. You can do that while it's still in your pocket.
     
  20. mariusignorello macrumors 65816

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    #21
    If you ever fidget with your phone while waiting and press the power button on and off, then 5 times is a good idea. At 3 or 4 you remember that the alarm will go off if you keep pressing.
    --- Post Merged, Aug 17, 2017 ---
    Yes but if they shoot you they still won’t be able to use the device. And you could always claim ignorance, the phone isn’t yours etc.
     
  21. Chazzle macrumors 68000

    Chazzle

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    #22
    We’re talking about the power button, not your home button.
     
  22. Lobitdepth macrumors newbie

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    #23
    The article says you have to push it so I hope you guessed right
     
  23. Chazzle macrumors 68000

    Chazzle

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    #24
    Phone does not go back to sleep actually. Stays lit up and will not lock even when pressing the lock button. Pressing the home button also does nothing once this is activated.
     
  24. WilliamG macrumors G3

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    #25
    Because you're more likely to do that by mistake? Especially older folks.
     

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