Need help ? We teach you how to properly configure the Emergency mode of Android and iOS

A little-known but oh-so-important feature, the Emergency mode on our smartphones is a real tool capable of saving a life or facilitating the work of rescuers.

You never regret being too prepared. By performing the simple action of correctly configuring the emergency mode on your smart phone, you may feel a lot calmer than you think. But you have to do some research beforehand to be sure to follow the right steps, the configuration is not the same depending on whether you have an iPhone, a Google Pixel, a Xiaomi or a Samsung. We explain to you.

On iOS

To be foreseeing, that does not eat bread. In the event of an accident, during a malaise or other health problems, your smartphone can save your life in many ways and not only during the intervention of the emergency services, but also afterwards.

To maximize the chances, you should correctly configure the emergency mode of your device. The configuration information can be a headache depending on the device, but also its OS or even the version of the operating system. At Apple, thanks to its closed and interoperable ecosystem policy between the brand’s devices, it’s simple.

iPhones have full options for emergency mode. ©Apple

First of all, it is important to fill in your medical form. On iOS, go to the Health app and tap your profile picture. Select “Medical record”, then “Modify” and enter your information. It is essential to be precise here, since you will enter your allergies, your height, your weight, your blood group or even if you have particular medical problems.

Once you have entered this information, you can continue to scroll down to the “Add emergency contact” option. Here you will enter the names and numbers of your contacts to be reached in case of emergency. Apple says that when you end an emergency call, your iPhone alerts the emergency contacts saved in the app and sends them a text message. Your smartphone also shares its location with updates over a period of time if the location changes. Thus, your loved ones will be informed in real time of the evolution of the situation.

We must also think of the first aiders and make this crucial information accessible to them. Still in the Health app, go to the medical file, tap “Edit” and navigate until you find the options “Show in locked mode” and “Emergency call”. Enable these two options. It will then suffice for an external person to press the ignition button of the iPhone once or to swipe the screen upwards then to touch the icon of emergency and “Medical card”.

Finally, it is possible to configure the way to contact emergencies by going to the Settings menu and “Emergency call”. You can choose, on some models, to keep the side button and a volume button pressed simultaneously until a sound is heard; or press the side button five times in a row.

Note, finally, that theiPhone 14 has a feature of automatic accident detection which allows him to activate the emergency mode on his own. It can also use a satellite connection, in some parts of the world, to contact emergency services in places without any mobile network.

On Android

On Android smartphones, the exercise is just as simple. It should be noted that the parameters will depend on the version of Android that you have. For example, the SOS Emergency feature – which we’ll discuss later – is only available on Pixel smartphones running Android 12 or later.

First of all, you will have to make sure that the Personal Security application is installed on your Android smartphone. You have to look in the list of applications or in Settings under the name Security. In the Settings precisely, touch “Security and emergencies”, then “Open the personal Security application”.

This is where you can configure all the settings related to emergency situations:

  • SOS Emergency: Calls emergency services, shares real-time location and news with emergency contacts, and can record video to share automatically.
  • Emergency locator transmitter
  • car accident detection
  • Crisis Alerts
google personal security
On Google Pixel smartphones, the Personal Safety application is comprehensive and offers many emergency functions. ©Google

As on iOS, you can also fill in your medical file, which will appear on the lock screen if you activate the “Show if locked” option. Open the Security app and sign in to your Google account. Go to Settings and tap on “Medical Information”. You can then enter your information on the allergies or medical treatments you are following. It is also possible to add emergency contacts.

Google finally allows you to display a message on your lock screen. Just go to Settings in the app and tap on “Display”. Tap “Lock screen” then “Add text on screen”. All that remains is to enter a message that can be displayed on the lock screen. Convenient to help a person find the owner of a lost smartphone, for example.

To trigger the emergency mode, simply press the side button on the screen five times in a row.

The Samsung case

Smartphone manufacturers like to add their own overlay to Android. Samsung is one of them, which leads to some differences in the configuration of emergency mode. What does not change, however, are the differences in access depending on the version of the OS you have on your smartphone.

samsung emergency
Screenshot of emergency options on a Samsung Galaxy S9 Android 10. ©L’Éclaireur Fnac

Emergency mode can already be activated in two ways: by keeping the on/off button pressed to bring up the option or by going to Settings then “Security and emergency”, “Emergency mode” and dragging the option to the right. Finally, medical information can be entered directly from the Contacts application. Your contact appears at the very top of the list; click on it and start filling your personal information with your photo. Then go to “Medical Information” and enter the allergy, medication or blood type information. Go back and go to the “Emergency Contacts” menu to select the people to call first.

To access this information, the outside person will have to scroll up on the lock screen. You will then have to select “Emergency call” at the bottom of the keyboard then “Medical info” at the bottom left.

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Need help ? We teach you how to properly configure the Emergency mode of Android and iOS


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