The third beta version of iOS 10.2 is now available to the public, bringing some new features to iPhone and iPad models. Among these is what can be called the first India-only functionality: the SOS button.
Apple had added the SOS button in an earlier version of iOS 10.2 beta, but the third beta has removed it from all other parts of the world except India, Mac Rumors reports. If you want to try out the iOS 10.2 beta 3 version, you can sign up on Apple’s site.
The Emergency SOS feature on iPhones would be in keeping with the Indian government’s recent mandate that all mobile phones, both smartphones and feature phones, must have a SOS button for emergency situations. This ruling comes into effect on January 1, 2017, though mobile phone manufacturers have asked the government to defer it to April 1.
(Also see: Panic Buttons on Cellphones a Must. What This Means for You.)
iOS 10.2 beta 3 users can head to Settings -> General menu, where they will find the Emergency SOS option. Tap on the button to personalise the settings under this option, such as how many times you will have to press the Power button to make the Emergency SOS call, whether to sound a countdown for that or not, etc. The default settings can be seen in the screenshot below:
The default emergency number in the software is 112, the new single emergency number that India will adopt starting January 1, 2017, the same day SOS buttons become mandatory on phones. 112 is saved as Distress Number in the Contacts after the beta is installed; even if you delete Distress Number from Contacts or change the number to something else, activating the Emergency SOS calls were being sent to 112 during our tests. You can add more phone numbers to send emergency alerts to via the Health app.
iOS 10.2 beta 3 brings some other new features as well, such as the Send With Love Screen Effect for Messages and the Feedback app. The update also marks the debut of a new TV app that replaces the Videos app; this new app, however, is available only in the US, and the Videos app is still available in rest of the world.