WatchOS 3 beta helps responders in 911 situations

The Apple Watch has two features in the watchOS 3 beta that can give responders much-needed information about the victim, and notify contacts that a crisis is in progress.

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Apple's concern with emergencies isn't restricted to patents and the iPhone, as we recently reported. Two features for the Apple Watch are already in place for the watchOS 3 beta. The two new features, Medical ID and Emergency SOS, are activated by holding the side button down for a few seconds. This is the button next to the Crown Jewel.

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The Medical ID information is entered into the Health app on the iPhone in advance of a crisis, and consists of the wearer's name, blood type, height, and weight. This gives responders the information on the watch to begin proper treatment at the scene. Whether the watch owner is an organ donor is also indicated.

The Emergency SOS feature attempts to call 911 when swiped. It uses cellular networks if an active iPhone is nearby or Wi-Fi if not. Location services is turned on temporarily for such calls even if deactivated on the watch. Emergency SOS also sends an automatic text to designated contacts entered in advance into the iPhone app (iOS 10 beta and above), letting those folks know a 911 crisis is in progress and where.

The beta for watchOS 3 is available to those who install the iOS 10 beta on an iPhone.

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