Is iOS 18 adding live video support to the emergency SOS feature on the iPhone?

Apple recently showcased a slew of exciting new features for iOS 18 at its WWDC 2024 event, yet there’s still more to be unveiled, including a groundbreaking addition to emergency SOS calls: live video support.

iOS 18 New Emergency SOS Features

iOS 18 introduces live video support for emergency SOS calls, allowing users to share context through streaming video and recorded media. This enhancement promises to provide emergency dispatchers with real-time visual information, enhancing their ability to assess situations accurately and respond effectively.

To activate emergency SOS on an iPhone running iOS 18, users can press and hold the power (or side) button along with either volume button. A countdown initiates on screen, and maintaining the hold places the emergency call. During these calls, users will likely have on-screen options to start livestreaming or send recorded video, although specific demonstrations are yet to be publicly showcased.

iOS 18 Key Upgrades and Features

iOS 18 isn’t just about emergency features; it brings a myriad of enhancements across the board:

  • App Locking and Home Screen Customization: Users gain the ability to lock apps and tailor their home screens, offering greater control over personalization and security.
  • Integration of Third-Party Features: Apple is set to integrate functionalities currently provided by third-party apps, potentially including password management and audio transcription services, directly into iOS 18. This move aims to streamline user experience and reduce reliance on external applications.
  • Apple Intelligence and Siri Upgrades: iOS 18 marks a significant advancement in Apple Intelligence, enhancing Siri’s capabilities to deliver smarter responses and actions. Initially available on select iPhone models, these enhancements promise to elevate user interactions with Apple’s ecosystem.

iOS 18 Availability and Timeline

iOS 18 is currently accessible as a developer beta, with a public beta expected to launch next month. This phase will allow a broader audience to experience and provide feedback on the new features. The official rollout for all users is anticipated in September, coinciding with the release of the iPhone 16 series.

With iOS 18, Apple continues to innovate by integrating cutting-edge technologies like live video support for emergency SOS calls alongside extensive upgrades to user interface customization and digital assistant capabilities. The upcoming public beta will offer users a chance to explore these features firsthand, signaling another evolutionary step in Apple’s commitment to enhancing user experience and safety.

Stay tuned as iOS 18 promises to redefine how we interact with our iPhones, blending convenience, security, and innovation seamlessly into everyday use.