IPHONE users have been warned to update their phones after an issue was discovered in Apple’s new crash detection feature.
The potentially life-saving software connects users to emergency services when a serious car accident occurs.
However, the feature introduced this year cannot differentiate between an actual fall and a fall, for example while skiing.
When a car crash is detected, your iPhone or Apple Watch will sound an alarm and display a warning.
If you don’t respond within 20 seconds, your device will automatically call emergency services.
The feature is available on iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro models, as well as Apple Watch Series 8, Apple Watch SE (2nd generation), and Apple Watch Ultra.
Some first responders have complained that the issue is causing them to receive notifications from skiers, snowboarders, and snowmobilers who don’t really need their help.
Peter Reid, a member of the Kimberley Search and Rescue in British Columbia, Canada, said: “In our case, it was an elderly gentleman whose daughters gave him an Apple Watch to keep an eye on.
“He was cross-country skiing and discovered the watch was sending panic messages to his daughters and to us too.”
Reid said helicopter rescue calls cost the province more than $10,000 (£8,200) per incident and sending them to the wrong call drains its resources from those who really need them.
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Likewise, Golden Search and Rescue said it received three alerts in just two days from people who didn’t need help, apparently caused by simple falls or quick movements.
Crash detection software is actually built into new Apple devices, according to Ritesh Kotak, a Toronto-based cyber and technology analyst.
He said: “Think of it as an antenna that allows it to communicate with a satellite. So older iPhone models or other types of devices will not work with this service.”
According to the 911 hotline in Gallatin Country, Montana, about 28 Apple iPhone 14 devices sent false “Car Crash Detection” alerts.
The feature has also reportedly sent alerts to authorities after mistaking a roller coaster ride for a car crash.
An update to fix the problem was released on December 13 for iOS 16.1.2 and 16.2 on the iPhone 14 and 14 Pro models.
Apple said, “Users are encouraged to get the update.”
https://www.thesun.ie/tech/9936047/iphone-users-warning-problem-apple-crash-detection/ Urgent warning for iPhone users after a problem was found in Apple’s crash detection feature