iOS 16.3 changes how ‘Call with Hold’ for Emergency SOS works

Apple on Tuesday released the second beta version of iOS 16.3 to developers, which brings some minor tweaks to the iPhone and iPad operating system. One of these changes specifically affects how the SOS emergency feature works – more specifically, the update changes the behavior of the “Call with Hold” option. Read on as we describe what changes with iOS 16.3 beta 2.

For those who don’t know, Emergency SOS is a feature introduced years ago in iOS that allows users to quickly call emergency services by holding down the iPhone buttons for a few seconds. If you do this, your iPhone will start a high alarm countdown and then call 911 after that. But with iOS 16.3 beta 2, this feature now behaves differently.

Updates to Emergency SOS with iOS 16.3

Now the “Call on hold” option is called “Call on hold and release.” According to the new description, the iPhone will now wait until you release the buttons to call emergency services, even after the countdown. Here is the full description:

Call with Hold and Release

If you hold down the side button and one of the volume buttons continuously, a countdown will start and an alarm will sound. After the countdown, if you release the buttons, iPhone will call emergency services.

And here’s how the feature was described before iOS 16.3 beta 2:

Call on hold

If you press and hold the side and volume buttons, the SOS emergency slider will appear. If you continue to hold them, a countdown will begin and an alert will sound. When the countdown is over, iPhone calls emergency services.

It is currently unclear if the change is permanent or if Apple is just experimenting with the new behavior. With iOS 16.2, Apple began asking for feedback from users who trigger Emergency SOS and then cancel it. This came after reports that the feature was mistakenly triggered by some people.

With iPhone 14, Emergency SOS has been integrated with Crash Detection, which uses the iPhone’s sensors to identify car accidents and automatically call emergency services.

More about iOS 16.3

The first beta version of iOS 16.3 was released almost a month ago. The update, so far, does not include many new features or changes. One of the new features that comes with the update is the ability to use physical security keys to protect Apple IDs. This means you’ll have a physical hardware device that you can set up to act as the second layer of two-factor authentication for your account.

iOS 16.3 also includes a new tutorial that shows users how to take advantage of the Handoff features between iPhone and HomePod. The update is expected to be released to the public sometime between February and March of this year.

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