Apple is working on a new way to make emergency phone calls on iPhone. An upcoming iOS update, which Apple previewed to developers Tuesday, adds a new "SOS" feature that will let you make an emergency call when you press the power button five times.
When the feature is enabled, all you have to do is is quickly press the power button five times to trigger a call to emergency services. (Macrumors reports the new feature will be available in the US, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Japan, Russia, Spain and the UK.)
SOS does include a short countdown before the call goes through and calls also trigger a siren, which should help avoid accidental calls. You can also choose to disable the feature in the main Settings app. Here's what the feature looks like in action:
🚨New "SOS" emergency calling feature in the latest iOS 10 beta 🚨 pic.twitter.com/lPRPfQfzYJ— Karissa Bell (@karissabe) November 8, 2016
iPhones have included emergency calling from the lock screen for years but the new feature gives iPhone owners an additional way to make a call should they get into trouble and are not able to use emergency feature from the lock screen or make a call normally.
It's hard to say when the feature will roll out more widely. For now, SOS is only available to developers who have the iOS 10.2 Beta 2 update installed, but the feature should make its way to the public iOS beta next before eventually becoming part of an official iOS 10 update.