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  • 19/02/2023
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Using your smartphone in emergencies: Talking Tech podcast

Hit play on the player above to hear the podcast and follow along with the transcript below. This transcript was automatically generated, and then edited for clarity in its current form. There may be some differences between the audio and the text.

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Hey there, listeners. It's Brett Molina. Welcome back to Talking Tech. One of the greatest benefits of having a smartphone is if you need something in case of an emergency. You've heard the stories about people with Apple Watches and how they've been credited for saving people's lives, and there's all this cool stuff you can do. Your smartphone works the exact same way. My colleague Kim Komando writes about this in a column that you can read on tech.usatoday.com. It's called, "Here's how to get help and send automatic alerts to loved ones on your phone." Really easy to set up. And again, you never know. It's peace of mind really setting this up, and it's super easy, super quick.

Using your smartphone in emergencies: Talking Tech podcast

On iPhone, let's start there. When you make a call with the Emergency SOS feature that's available, it will call a local emergency number. It'll also alert any emergency contacts that you have set up via text message. It also sends your location to those contacts. If something happens, you take a fall, anything else, you're somewhere where you need help, you do that Emergency SOS, and it gets it to the people that need it. If you want to make an SOS call, you basically hold the side button and one of the volume buttons on the iPhone, and you'll see a slider for Emergency SOS. You'll drag that slider. It calls, say 911, and then it also gets a hold of your emergency contacts.

It works a little differently on older iPhones. If you have one, you might have to press the top button or the side button to get that slider, but that's just something to keep in mind. The other thing that's good too is getting some other health and medical information ready and in front of you. Things like the medical ID that you can add to your Health app, and that'll, again, will add all the details. If you're having a medical emergency that way the emergency responders, family, everybody else just has a sense of what to look out for.

Android has something similar. It's something you need to set up ahead of time. You go to the settings app on an Android phone, you'll go to safety and emergency, and then you'll go to SOS. You can then customize everything. You can set up how the alarms work. You can set up the emergency number. You can set up all that info and it works very similarly. But again, same concept.

And again, it's something that you think you might not need, but you never know. It's one of those things that could really help out in a big way when you need it most. To read more about this and to get some more tips from Kim and all our tech experts, be sure to visit tech.usatoday.com.

Listeners, let's hear from you. Do you have any comments, questions, or show ideas? Any tech problems you want us to try to address? You can find me on Twitter @brettmolina23. Please don't forget to subscribe and rate us or leave a review on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, anywhere you get your podcasts. You've been listening to Talking Tech. We'll be back tomorrow with another quick hit from the world of tech.