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Apple to add life-saving new feature in iOS 12

Apple to Provide More Precise Location Data for iPhone 911 Calls

If it lives up to Apple's promise, the iPhone's next operating system will automatically deliver quicker and more reliable information pinpointing the location of 911 calls to about 6,300 emergency response centers in the U.S.

The feature, which will only be available to those in the United States and will not hook into global emergency services, will be powered by RapidSOS's IP-based system and will securely provide call centers with Hybridized Emergency Location Data by pulling data based on proximity to WiFi access points and cell towers. When iOS 12 becomes available, Apple will use a technology called RapidSOS to quickly and securely share HELO data with 911 operators. Apple says iOS location services are capable of exceeding that requirement today, even in "challenging, dense, urban environments". "When every moment counts, these tools will help first responders reach our customers when they most need assistance". So Apple was quick to note in its statement that your location data will be shared securely and the feature can not be used for non-emergency functions. This new location-sharing would allow 911 centers to find callers location faster and with much greater accuracy than they can under the current system - and finally brings US users up to speed with those in Europe.

Apple said it's adding the new technology ahead of a Federal Communications Commission rule set for 2021 that requires phone carriers be able to locate emergency callers within 50 meters 80 percent of the time. With the release of iOS 12, very precise location details for emergency calls will be a standard feature.

When the feature becomes available, 'Apple phones will send fast and accurate device location to the NG911 Clearinghouse when a user dials 9-1-1, ' RapidSOS explained in a blog post. "This will accelerate the deployment of Next Generation 911 for everyone, saving lives and protecting property". RapidSOS's system will increase the precision considerably, the companies said. "This advancement from Apple and RapidSOS will be transformative for emergency response in the United States".