Being prepared can make a potentially dire situation much more manageable. If you have an iPhone in your pocket, you are well prepared for some kind of disaster.
Your phone has more survival tools than a Swiss Army knife, but you have to use them. Get yourself out of traffic jams with iPhone and these six life-saving features.
If you are in a life-threatening situation, you can use your phone to confidentially contact the emergency services in your area. Even without taking out your cell phone, you can call 911 and inform your emergency contacts of your location. The number your phone will call automatically adjusts to the local area.
Here’s how it works:
- On iPhone 8 or later, activate Emergency SOS by pressing and holding the side button and one of the volume buttons until the Emergency SOS slider appears, then dragging the slider to make a call. If you keep holding the button, a loud alert will play and your iPhone will make a call automatically.
- Those with iPhone 7 and earlier have to quickly press the side or top button five times, and the same screen will appear.
- If you have an emergency contact set selected in Settings > Emergency SOS, your iPhone will automatically send a text message to that contact with your current location. If your location changes, your contacts will receive updates.
No matter what situation you’re in, as long as you have one hand free, your iPhone lets you contact the authorities.
Medical ID (Medical ID)
Medical ID stores your important medical information for easy access in case you become incapacitated. The same screen showing Emergency SOS will also display your Medical ID. You can display information such as your date of birth, weight and height.
In addition, you can list more medically important information such as your blood type, whether or not you are an organ donor, and any medical conditions, allergies, or medications you may be taking.
Your iPhone can be used for both rural and urban emergencies. Next time you get lost in the woods, take out your phone and open the Compass app.
The Compass app has been a part of iOS for years, but is often forgotten among the many other utilities that come with your iPhone. It uses a magnetometer chip to sense the Earth’s magnetic field. This is very important, because it means you can use it offline. However, accuracy may improve when you can use GPS.
The compass works best when you hold the phone flat while using it. Then take advantage of those elementary school-oriented lessons to get out of the woods when you don’t have services.
You can only route yourself through true north if you have Location Services enabled and are online. Without it, you use magnetic north, as the pioneers did.
Voice Memos and iCloud
If you ever find yourself in the last action of a cop movie, where you need to record a conversation about critical intel and then bring it to the rendezvous point, Voice Memos lets you instantly sync with all your devices via iCloud.
All you have to do is go to Settings > iCloud, scroll down, and enable the Voice Memos toggle. Once you’ve done that, turn on your Mac or other iCloud-enabled device, check your iCloud settings to make sure you’re signed in, and open Voice Memos there too.
Get the leverage you need by leaving your computer at home or in another remote location. As soon as you finish recording, your Voice Memos will be synced with your other devices and will be saved there.
Google Maps (Offline)
When you travel in an unknown area, a map is very important. But the physical maps these days are very few. After all, everyone uses Google Maps, but what happens when you’re 50 miles in the desert, hit a crossroads, and then realize you have no service?
Luckily, you can download maps on Google Maps for offline use.
To do this, open Google Maps and go to the area you want to download. Tap the three horizontal lines next to the search bar. Then press Offline Maps. Select Custom map, highlight the area you want to save, ad select Download. Maps can take up to 500MB of space.
Obviously you have to do this beforehand, while you still have the service. But once you save an area, it will stay on your phone even if you are offline. Keep in mind that they often expire if you don’t update them.
Because GPS doesn’t depend on cellular service, your iPhone can connect to GPS when you’re offline. Currently tracking your location, this means you don’t actually have to be able to find yourself on a map. Just put it in your direction as usual.
Find My Friends
If you get into a dangerous situation, you can keep your friends and loved ones informed of your location. Find My Friends is a built-in app that lets you track your friends’ locations and even receive notifications when they leave or arrive somewhere.
To add friends, connect with them using Airdrop if you’re in the same physical area, or send them an email request by going to Find My Friends > Add. Once connected, you can choose to share your location with your friends. Use it to track them or let them track you, wherever you go.
You can also let them know when you leave or arrive somewhere. Select your contact’s name, press the More button, then Notify. With Find My Friends, you’ll never get into a no-backup situation again.
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