Apple iOS 6 emergency & disaster news

Since details of Apple’s next major mobile operating system, iOS 6, were revealed at WWDC on Monday we’ve been bringing you plenty of news about what we can expect when it is released sometime in the fall. Today we have news on another upcoming feature of iOS 6 surrounding U.S. national emergency alerts.

This brand-new feature, which Apple is dubbing “Government Alerts” will be usable on any Apple device running iOS 6 and is made possible by the National Alerting Program. The Wireless Emergency Alerts will be issued at times of emergency or disaster to those who have compatible Apple devices and as iOS 6 will be compatible for iPhones from the iPhone 3GS onwards, millions of users will be able to benefit. As we’ve reported previously though, the original iPad will not support iOS 6 although it will be available for the iPad 2 or new iPad (3rd gen). The alerts will come from various sources, local, state and federal, via the Integrated Public Alert & Warning System run by FEMA.

News of the emergency alerts program came to us from Apple Insider, sourced from Emergency Management. This seems to us a pretty major development, although it was not highlighted by Apple at the keynote event on Monday, which is surprising. As well as this in June the National Weather Service is to begin sending out Wireless Emergency Alerts so this will already be in use prior to iOS 6 coming out and ready for device owners to take advantage of in the fall.

The Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system only became available from the U.S. government last month so the fact that Apple device owners will have such good access to it seems to us like quite a coup although some carriers already offer alerts to customers via texts. iOS 6 users who don’t wish to receive the alerts will be able to opt out by using the on/off toggle in the Settings Menu.

We think this new development has a great deal to offer and will really help out in times of crisis and would like to know what you think. Will you be taking advantage of this new feature for iOS 6 when it arrives in the fall? Why would you want to turn this feature off? Let us know with your comments.


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