Emergency smartphone calls getting smarter - KTEN.com - No One Gets You Closer

Emergency smartphone calls getting smarter

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A software update will give iPhones give precise location information during emergency calls. (File) A software update will give iPhones give precise location information during emergency calls. (File)

GRAYSON COUNTY, Texas -- It's well known that smartphones have location settings to provide easy access to map a road trip, search for a local business, or request a ride.

But until now, emergency dispatchers have only had a general sense of where to send ambulances, fire trucks, or police cars when you call 911.

With its next software update, Apple plans to partner with RapidSOS, adding a new feature that sends an instant and precise location during emergency phone calls based on data collected from a combination of Wi-Fi access points, nearby cell towers, and GPS.

Only public safety agencies will have access to the location data.

Although this initiative is specifically for Apple iPhones, Grayson, Cooke and Fannin counties have another way for any smartphone user to get help without making a phone call.

If you have a cell phone, you can now request help via a text message. But unlike Apple's solution, it won't automatically relay your location.

"Individuals still need to know where they are located, just like any 911 call," said Grayson County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Capt. Sarah Bigham.

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