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Apple to add life-saving new feature in iOS 12

19 June, 2018, 23:25 | Author: Lydia Fleming
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While iOS 11.3 added support for Advanced Mobile Location (AML), an automatic location-sharing feature used by some European emergency services, iOS 12 will include support for a similar US emergency service called RapidSOS, Apple announced today. We firmly believe that the best technology should be available to 9-1-1 when it matters the most.

'When every moment counts, these tools will help first responders reach our customers when they most need assistance'.

The FCC is requiring carriers to be able to locate 911 callers within 164 feet at least 80 percent of the time by 2021, but Apple says that its location services will exceed that requirement. Apple's new feature will allow dispatchers to more accurately locate Chicago callers who use iPhones. The system enables 911 call centers to access a phone's Hybridized Emergency Location data, which includes the phone's proximity to known Wi-Fi hotspots and cellular towers.

Some background: While 911 services have been able to locate landline users for decades, cell phone location is much more hard to determine, causing delays for emergency responders.

Generally speaking, existing 911 infrastructure is centered around locating landline callers quickly, but as time goes on, more and more emergency calls are being made from mobile phones, which can make locating a caller hard.

In typical Apple fashion, the company stressed the new feature's data privacy.

Apple is set to launch the next major version of iOS later this year with new digital health features, ARKit 2, and more. User data can't be used for non-emergency purposes, Apple said.

Apple is trying to solve a potentially risky emergency response infrastructure problem.

Apps like Uber and Snapchat often keep tabs on their user's location easily, but services like 911 have a harder time detecting the same information.

There are a mix of changes when it comes to sharing and managing photos in iOS 12. It does this, as you've probably guessed, using the iPhone's readily-available data connection to the internet.

'This is going to save a lot of lives, ' said Wheeler, now a visiting professor at Harvard University.


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