How to use the SOS system on your phone

Must See 11/12/2018

Last week, British tourist Grace Millane was killed while holidaying in New Zealand.

Her death has sent shockwaves through the New Zealand, people concerned for their safety levels in what was previously perceived as a mostly risk-free country for tourists and citizens.

Former Police Senior Detective Lance Burdett joined The AM Show on Monday morning to talk about the investigation, saying it would have been horrible for everyone involved, including the dozens of officers.

"It's torn everyone apart. This is New Zealand; we should be able to walk around safely."

He said there is information that may help to put people at ease, including techniques to make smartphones send emergency messages.

"Most phones have an SOS app on them you can use if you get into trouble."

Newshub has compiled a list of ways your phone could help you in an emergency.


If you have a Samsung Galaxy smartphone, there is a feature called 'SOS Messages'.

You can add up to four contacts who will receive an emergency alert when you press the power button on the phone three times in a row.

When you do this, an emergency message will be sent to the four contacts you have chosen.

This message will include your location, a picture of your situation, and an audio message recorded when the SOS function is triggered.


To set it up, open tour phone's settings, go to 'Personal', select 'Privacy and Emergency', and click 'Send SOS Messages'.

Here you can add your emergency contacts and check whether you want the pictures and audio recording functions to be enabled.

iPhone X, 8 and 8 Plus 

The new models of iPhone have a SOS function, which automatically calls the local emergency number when you make a call.

To use SOS, press and hold the side button and one of the volume buttons until the Emergency SOS slider appears.

Drag the slider to call emergency services, or keep holding the volume and side buttons till an onscreen countdown appears and ends.

The latter option will automatically call emergency services.

iPhone 7 or lower 

Rapidly press the side button five times and the 'Emergency SOS' slider will appear.

Drag the slider to bring up the phone dial, from here you can call emergency services.

When the call ends your iPhone will send a message with your current location to your emergency contacts, which you can set up under 'Emergency SOS' in settings.

In his The AM Show appearance, Mr Burdett said it is important to be aware of your surroundings when out - especially when you're alone.

"In a public place, the greatest risk is a stranger," he said.


"We know that in families the greatest risk is those around you, those who know you - but externally, when you're out in a public place, you don't know people."