Expert Advice: Smartphone's Hidden Features That Save Lives

Expert Advice: Smartphone's Hidden Features That Save Lives



"Smartphones, beyond their typical use, have the potential to be life-saving devices," states Bruce Roth, a seasoned tech expert from Geonode. Intriguingly, many users may be unknowing of the formidable safety mechanisms woven into their handheld gadgets. This article illuminates these often overlooked but potentially lifesaving smartphone features that are quietly waiting in the wings to contribute in critical situations.

Health and Medical Emergencies

Ever considered your smartphone as a first-aid hub, ready to provide lifesaving information at the moment's notice?

Roth aptly asserts, "Imagine EMTs accessing this information during an emergency - it helps them avoid administering medication you're allergic to, thus saving time and potentially your life."

On many Android devices, there's a feature that allows you to input your emergency medical information and emergency contacts.

To access or set up:

  • Go to the "Settings" app.

  • Navigate to "About phone" or "User & accounts."

  • Look for "Emergency Information" and enter your details.

In case of an emergency, this information can be accessed from the lock screen by clicking on "Emergency" and then "Emergency Information." This feature allows first responders or Good Samaritans to view vital information about you even if they can't unlock your phone.

SOS Messages (Some Android models)

Certain Android smartphones have a feature where you can send an SOS message by pressing the power button quickly (usually three times in quick succession).

This will send a predefined message, often with your location and photos taken from the front and back cameras, to preset emergency contacts.

To set up:

  • Go to "Settings."

  • Navigate to "Advanced features" or "Safety & emergency."

  • Find "Send SOS messages" or a similar option and set it up.

Note: The exact pathway and availability might differ depending on the phone model and manufacturer.

Audio Zoom (Some phone models)

Audio Zoom is a feature found in some modern smartphones, especially those with multiple microphones.

When recording a video, if you zoom in on a particular area, the phone will attempt to focus and amplify the sound coming from that direction while minimizing background noise.

It's like "audio focus' ' and can be beneficial if you're trying to capture or listen to something specific from a distance or in a noisy environment. This can be particularly useful in situations where you want to discreetly capture conversations or sounds from a particular source.

Flash Alerts

Flash alerts cause your phone's flashlight or screen to flash repeatedly when you receive calls, messages, or notifications. This can be particularly useful for the hearing-impaired, or in situations where the phone is on silent.

On iPhones

  • Go to "Settings."

  • Navigate to "Accessibility."

  • Under the "Hearing" section, toggle on "LED Flash for Alerts."

On Android (may vary by device)

  • Go to "Settings."

  • Navigate to "Accessibility" or "Notifications."

  • Look for "Flash Notification" or a similar option and enable it.

Apart from regular use, in emergencies, the flashing light can be used as a visual alert or signal to attract attention.

Personal Safety Applications

A plethora of personal safety apps are hidden inside your smartphone’s app store, designed to aid users in dangerous situations. A typical safety app activates a loud alarm, sends location-based alerts to designated emergency contacts, or dials an emergency number when triggered.

Actionable Tips:

  • Explore your app store's safety section for suitable apps.

  • Install a personal safety app and understand its function.

  • Check if your smartphone manufacturer provides its inbuilt emergency alert system.

Roth adds, "Leveraging these apps effectively allows you to maintain a constant line of communication with your loved ones or emergency services, even in risky scenarios."

Offline Maps

Lost with no network reception? No problem. Smartphones enable users to download maps for offline use. While this capability is often used for convenience, you might appreciate this feature mightily in a survival situation.

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