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Apple's iOS 12 will let iPhones share your exact location with 911

Apple's iOS 12 will let iPhones share your exact location with 911

iOS 12 will be compatible with every iPhone model up to the iPhone 5s.

Apple says the location data can not be shared if 911 has not been called, and that RapidSOS' data will be separate from that held by cellphone carriers.

The company says that location data is gathered from cell towers, as well as Global Positioning System and Wi-Fi Access Points to determine a caller's location which can then be shared using industry-standard protocols.

As Apple itself astutely observed, most 911 calls made these days come from mobile devices. RapidSOS's system will deliver the emergency location data of iOS users by integrating with many 911 centers' existing software, which rely on industry-standard protocols. The new iOS feature will be a lot more accurate, according to Apple, potentialy saving lives.

Apple this morning announced a new feature in iOS 12 which will automatically share your location with first responders when U.S. users dial 911 using their iPhone.

Apple is trying to solve a problem caused by the technological mismatch between a 50-year-old system built for landlines and today's increasingly sophisticated smartphones.

In February, Alphabet Inc.'s Google tested the emergency location technology with RapidSOS, but hasn't announced a formal roll out for its Android operating system. Apple will also use tools developed by the company RapidSOS to quickly share that data with 911 call centres.

The smartphone giant emphasized the security aspects of this feature, saying it will not provide the caller's name and that it will only share the location information in an emergency for privacy reasons.

Later this year, Apple iPhone users who call 911 will be able to automatically share their location with first responders - an advancement that should reduce response times.

"This new functionality is an example of how companies and first responders can use technology to dramatically improve public safety", said Tom Wheeler, FCC Chairman from 2013 to 2017.

iOS 12 is in beta testing now and will be available as a free download this September.

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