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  • Wireless Emergency Alerts Come to iPhone 5 and 4S AT&T Users


    The second largest wireless carrier in the U.S., AT&T, recently announced that it will be pushing out an update to subscribers who own an iPhone 5 or iPhone 4S with the new software supporting an FCC-mandated Wireless Emergency Alert (WEA) system. The system will allow iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S owners to receive government-issued safety messages in the form of text-like messages.

    It was the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, non-profit trade organization for the wireless industry CTIA, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency who cooperated to create the WEA system. As noted on the CTIA’s website, WEA-capable mobile devices originally began receiving alerts in April of 2012.

    For those of you wondering about what types of alerts you’ll be getting, you should know that there are three types of alerts which are broken down into the following:

    • Presidential Alerts – Alerts issued by the President or a designee;
    • Imminent Threat Alerts – Alerts that include severe man-made or natural disasters, such as hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, etc., where an imminent threat to life or property exists; and
    • AMBER Alerts– Alerts that meet the U.S. Department of Justice's criteria to help law enforcement search for and locate an abducted child.
    Although the alerts come to users in something resembling a text message, the system actually uses different, faster technology instead. Subscribers also will not be charged for any incoming alerts.

    According to AT&T, iPhones running iOS 6.1 or later will have the update automatically downloaded and installed over the air, while those running an older version of iOS will have to connect to iTunes to receive the update.

    Source: AT&T (blog), CTIA
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Wireless Emergency Alerts Come to iPhone 5 and 4S AT&T Users started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 56 Comments
    1. bmwraw8482's Avatar
      bmwraw8482 -
      Just got a tornado warning the other day. I'm on Verizon though. Pretty cool
    1. macfan406's Avatar
      macfan406 -
      Also enabled in iOS 7 Beta. Got a PDS SVR (Particularly Dangerous Situation Severe Thunderstorm Watch) and have the panels showing up on my iPhone in Settings.
    1. *T*'s Avatar
      *T* -
      First the NSA, now this?!?!?! WHAT THE ****. Can we combat this with a jailbreak tweak?
    1. slim.jim's Avatar
      slim.jim -
      Quote Originally Posted by *T* View Post
      First the NSA, now this?!?!?! WHAT THE ****. Can we combat this with a jailbreak tweak?
      Why is this a bad thing? They want to warn you that you could die.
    1. luvmytj's Avatar
      luvmytj -
      Brought to you by your friends at PRISM, here to protect you from yourself.
    1. jwil736's Avatar
      jwil736 -
      I imagine you will need location services enabled with this? Or is it integrated with att billing zip code?
    1. Channan's Avatar
      Channan -
      iPhone 3GS and 4 owners aren't important enough to be warned they're in danger. :/
    1. tsatryan's Avatar
      tsatryan -
      Perhaps they can warn us that our calls and texts are being monitored....
    1. ThatOneProfile's Avatar
      ThatOneProfile -
      I was wondering where my tax dollars were being spent. Glad to know they are being used on something worthwhile. *extreme sarcasm*
    1. vinaygoel2000's Avatar
      vinaygoel2000 -
      Not yet on my iPhone 5, Florida.
    1. Brandon.amos's Avatar
      Brandon.amos -
      Just received the update about 12:15pm CST in Louisiana on my 4S, and my mom's 5. AT&T is now version 14.1.
    1. onski's Avatar
      onski -
      Quote Originally Posted by Channan View Post
      iPhone 3GS and 4 owners aren't important enough to be warned they're in danger. :/
      They wont be able to receive the alien invasion warning.. Better upgrade now if they want to survive..
    1. thefinalhack's Avatar
      thefinalhack -
      Quote Originally Posted by Channan View Post
      iPhone 3GS and 4 owners aren't important enough to be warned they're in danger. :/
      But of course not
    1. snoozkewl's Avatar
      snoozkewl -
      I'm all for helping out where I can, but Amber Alerts, from 1200 miles away, at 3:00 am, and what has to be the most startling and worst sound they could have chose. Well I don't know about other people, but I turned my off and now the whole service just became useless. Because this app has scared me awake two nights recently, I'm one person that will not be helping when an issue is near by me *because I shut off the warning and as a result* I'm not notified in a courteous manner to keep my eyes open. Good job Government you're stupid f'ing people
    1. tankz504's Avatar
      tankz504 -
      To turn this crap off Iunder settings, general, notifications, scroll to the bottom for government alerts.
    1. iLoveWindows&iPhone's Avatar
      iLoveWindows&iPhone -
      Man all of you are such whining babies. Sure these alerts will, no question about it, save lives in the near future and beyond, but at what cost?...Having to listen to a annoying sound which frightens you...Momentarily being woken up in the middle of the night? Having to go into settings to turn these alerts off if you don't want to use them? Thats just to much to ask now isn't it...So petty.
    1. devteamtools's Avatar
      devteamtools -
      Wondering if older iDevices will get this, like the iPhone 2G through iPhone 3GS (running iOS 3-5, I should say.) If not, that'll make me quite happy.
    1. gabe_nichols's Avatar
      gabe_nichols -
      I have an iPhone 4 running iOS 6.1 and I have this and the personal hotspot option when I woke up this morning
    1. mr117's Avatar
      mr117 -
      I got a "carrier update" on my i4 running 6.1.2 a few hours ago. Now I can be alerted when the zombie invasion happens. Oh, and for all the whiners, you (mostly) are too young to remember when we had emergency alerts on TV, or even farther back when every city/town had sirens that would go off to test the emergency alert system. Trust me, a phone chirping is a lot less jarring than a siren going off.
    1. that_girl's Avatar
      that_girl -
      To the people complaining, why? This is a good thing. I want to be alerted about emergencies. It's about time AT&T got this.