How to set up emergency SOS on your smartwatch – The Verge | Hot Mobile Press

While smartwatches have always had the ability to relay notifications, the ability to make emergency calls was a big step forward in making them standalone devices.

In general, emergency SOS functions have two functions. The first is to call local emergency services if you find yourself in a bind. For example, if you spill something and can’t make it to the phone, your watch can call 911. The second is to forward your location to a select group of trusted contacts. For people who prefer to leave their phones at home, these features can ensure that your loved ones can find you when you’re injured or need help.

You don’t necessarily need a cellular watch to use Emergency SOS. However, a mobile watch is the best option if you want emergency SOS to be available at all times. Otherwise, you’ll need to keep your phone nearby, or your watch will need some sort of internet connection over Wi-Fi.

However, just because you have a device capable of making SOS emergency calls doesn’t mean it will set it up automatically. For example, you must designate people as your emergency contacts if this is relevant to you.

With that in mind, here’s how to set up and use Emergency SOS features on some of the most popular smartwatches.

Apple watch

You can edit the settings in the Watch app on your iPhone.
Screenshot: Victoria Song / The Edge

The Apple Watch has comprehensive emergency call functions. When you use the Emergency SOS feature, the watch will call and send your location to local emergency services. This is not necessarily limited to your home country either. If you have an Apple Watch SE or a Series 5 or later, you can also access emergency services internationally. (However, you should check which countries are supported before each trip.)

To make an emergency call from your wrist:

  • Press and hold the side button. This is the flat button under the digital crown.
  • You should see three sliders: Switch off, medical cardand Emergency SOS.
  • pull that Emergency SOS Slider to start a call.
  • You can also just press and hold the side button until a countdown begins.

If you want the watch to notify your trusted contacts as well, you need to take the time to define who those contacts are. To add/remove emergency contacts:

  • open that Health App on your iPhone.
  • Tap your profile icon in the top right.
  • Beat medical card.
  • Choose To edit and scroll down to emergency contacts.
  • Tap the “+” button to add a contact.
  • Pick someone you trust from your contacts.
  • They will be asked to describe their relationship to you.
  • Beat Finished.
  • In edit mode, you can also click the “-” button to remove someone as an emergency contact.

Tips and things to remember:

  • When you make an emergency call, Apple Watch continuously shares your location with your emergency contacts. It will send you a notification periodically to remind you. You can stop this by tapping stop sharing when the memory appears.
  • If you tend to accidentally press the side button, you can disable it so that it automatically calls 911 when you hold it. Just go to the watch App on your iPhone, select it My clock tab, select Emergency SOSand turn them off Press and hold the side button to dial Switch. This only disables the shortcut to trigger an automatic call countdown. You can still hold down the side button to bring that up Emergency SOS Bring up the slider.
  • If you use the emergency SOS function abroad, your emergency contacts will not be notified.

SOS emergency calls will be available for Wear OS 3 later this year.
Image: The Edge

carry operating system

At this year’s Google I/O keynote, the company indicated that Emergency SOS would be a feature of Wear OS 3. That means the upcoming Google Pixel Watch and all other Wear OS 3 watches can support emergency calls. We’ll update this section once the Pixel Watch and Wear OS 3 upgrades arrive in Fall 2022.

Samsung smartwatches

Emergency SOS isn’t set up by default on Samsung’s smartwatches, including the latest Galaxy Watch 4 range. It’s also not available on the Galaxy Fit or Galaxy Fit 2. When you see the message Only emergency calls On your Samsung smartwatch, this is a sign that you don’t have a cellular connection set up and the feature will only work if you have your phone with you.

Emergency SOS is not set up by default on Samsung smartwatches. You have to activate it yourself.
Image: Samsung

However, Samsung’s Emergency SOS doesn’t currently call local emergency services (although that may change when Emergency SOS features come to Wear OS 3 in the fall). Instead, it calls and notifies your preselected emergency contacts of your location. Once you’ve set up your contacts, you can activate Emergency SOS by quickly pressing the power button three times.

How to get started:

  • open that galaxy wearable apartment
  • Beat view settings.
  • Choose Advanced features.
  • Beat SOS.
  • Turn on the switch marked with When the home button is pressed three times.
  • There is an additional Countdown before sending Switch. When checked, a five second delay is added so you can cancel in case of an accidental press.
  • You can also optionally turn on the switch When heavy fall is detected.
  • To select emergency contacts, tap create contact or Choose From Contacts.
  • Under the emergency contacts In the menu you can also specify contacts to send SMS and calls to.
  • To set who should receive text messages, select Send messages to and select a contact.
  • Dial for calls Make SOS call and then select a contact.

Garmin wearables

Garmin, a wearable brand popular with outdoor enthusiasts, has a version of emergency calls called Assistance. However, support is not enabled by default. Also, only certain Garmin smartwatches or trackers, like the Forerunner 945 LTE, have LTE capability — most Garmin devices require you to have your phone nearby to alert your emergency contacts. Your phone also needs to have a decent cell signal, which is something to keep in mind if you plan to hike, bike, or run in an area with poor signal coverage.

The Safety Features menu in the Garmin Connect app.
Image: Victoria Song / The Verge

Additionally, iOS users must have the Garmin Connect app open and running in the background. Even if your device is connected via Bluetooth, this feature will not work unless the Garmin Connect app is open.

Because Garmin devices come in so many different form factors, there is no one-size-fits-all way to send emergency notifications. In general, you can activate an alert on a Garmin watch by pressing and holding the top left button for about seven seconds. For trackers, you typically hold the button down until the watch vibrates three times. Still, check the trigger for your specific device here.

To set up help:

  • open that Garmin Connect app on your smartphone.
  • If you are an Android user, select the Three Bar Icon top left. If you are an iOS user, select the More tab at bottom right.
  • Scroll down to Security & Tracking.
  • Beat safety devices.
  • Beat my information and enter your details.
  • Return to the previous menu and select emergency contacts.
  • You can add up to three contacts by tapping Add emergency contact. Garmin recommends adding more than one.
  • In which emergency call menu you can add a number to be called when the emergency call function is triggered. However, your phone must be nearby and paired with your device for this feature to work.

Now that you’re all set up, here’s a quick reminder: Make sure you regularly review who your designated emergency contacts are. It’s a good idea to do this when buying a new watch, moving to a new city, experiencing a breakup, having an argument, or when a close friend dies. Remember, this shouldn’t be a feature you set up and forget.

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