or Connect
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › AT&T adds emergency alert system to iPhone 5 and 4S with software update [u]
New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:

AT&T adds emergency alert system to iPhone 5 and 4S with software update [u]

post #1 of 97
Thread Starter 
America's second-largest wireless carrier AT&T on Friday announced it will be pushing out an update to subscribers who own an iPhone 5 or 4S, with the new software supporting an FCC-mandated Wireless Emergency Alert system.

Update: Readers are reporting the iPhone 4 is also receiving the OTA update in some areas.

WEA


AT&T said it will begin rolling out the software update for Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA) today, which will allow iPhone 5 and iPhone 4S owners to receive government-issued safety messages in the form of text-like messages.

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

There are three types of alerts:
  • 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.

While the alerts will come to users in something resembling a text message, the system actually uses a different, faster technology. Subscribers won't be charged for incoming alerts.

According to AT&T, iPhones running 6.1 or later will have the update automatically downloaded and installed over the air, while those running an older iOS will have to connect to iTunes.
post #2 of 97
I'm confused. Since when do iPhones have software updates that don't come from Apple?
post #3 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by l008com View Post

I'm confused. Since when do iPhones have software updates that don't come from Apple?
It's an AT&T carrier update. They've always had the power but usually its just updated with iOS. In the past once in a blue moon when you hook to iTunes there wod be a carrier update. It's different from the iOS ipsw file and only takes like 5 seconds for it to update but it looks like now they're just doing it over the air without even letting us know until its already installed.
post #4 of 97
I DO NOT WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS ALERT SYSTEM. It is unconstitutional and should be optional. If you feel the same way please email Apple, AT&T, and your elected representative. A big enough outcry can get these bureaucrats to change their mind.
SkyKing
Reply
SkyKing
Reply
post #5 of 97
You don't have to participate. You can turn it off. Sheesh
post #6 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by josephwinters View Post

You don't have to participate. You can turn it off. Sheesh

Yeah. Some people just like to whine.

post #7 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by josephwinters View Post

You don't have to participate. You can turn it off. Sheesh
Quote:
Originally Posted by sessamoid View Post

Yeah. Some people just like to whine.

too bad the high-priced highly-skilled appleinsider wordsmiths weren't on the ball enough to mention that it was optional. "push" kind of seems contrary to "optional".

and are not those who whine about whiners therefore themselves whiners?
"Personally, I would like nothing more than to thoroughly proof each and every word of my articles before posting. But I can't."

appleinsider's mike campbell, august 15, 2013
Reply
"Personally, I would like nothing more than to thoroughly proof each and every word of my articles before posting. But I can't."

appleinsider's mike campbell, august 15, 2013
Reply
post #8 of 97

I have noticed that since iTunes recent update, to v11.0.4,

 

my iPhone 5 and iPad Mini "backups" (automatically done prior to a sync),

 

are taking  8 to 9 minutes long, then the syncs are lickity-split, quick.

 

Under iTunes ~v10.0, through v11.0.3, the same "backups" were less than One minute long.

 

Anyone else seeing that?

 

 

BTW,

I was just prompted about the AT&T carrier update, when I just connected my iPhone 5 to iTunes for a sync.

post #9 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky King View Post

I DO NOT WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS ALERT SYSTEM. It is unconstitutional and should be optional. If you feel the same way please email Apple, AT&T, and your elected representative. A big enough outcry can get these bureaucrats to change their mind.

Try reading, or at least look at the pictures, it is optional.
Edited by dasanman69 - 6/14/13 at 7:58pm
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
post #10 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pooch View Post


and are not those who whine about whiners therefore themselves whiners?

Try saying that fast 5 times lol.gif
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
post #11 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky King View Post

I DO NOT WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS ALERT SYSTEM. It is unconstitutional and should be optional. If you feel the same way please email Apple, AT&T, and your elected representative. A big enough outcry can get these bureaucrats to change their mind.

I'm so f'king tired of the seeming 10s of millions dumbass Americans who couldn't pick their own nose without help claiming everything is unconstitutional this and unconstitutional that.

Please cite specifically the language in them constitution that would forbid this activity and cite the court decisions backing up your typically dumbass opinion.
post #12 of 97

The way I read this, they are rolling out an update on the AT&T network to allow the network to receive and carry these alerts.   They are not touching your iPhone or its IOS.

post #13 of 97

Wonder when it is hacked and whole herd receives some panic messages during market hours, which crashes the market for couple of minutes and panics people around the US!

post #14 of 97
I think it's telling that the so-called "emergency" system is for the 4S & 5 only, and not for the 4 which they continue to sell under a two year contract, and for which will almost certainly get an update to iOS 7 making it a current phone for at least another model year. Guess if you want to be 'safe' you'll have to upgrade HA!
post #15 of 97
The uninformed conspiracy theorists are already out claiming the government is using this to spy on you and whatnot. The EAS doesn't receive any data, it only sends a broadcasts a signal whenever there's an emergency, like for a tornado or something. It's specifically designed this way so it doesn't clog up the cell towers with data in a real emergency. 
 
It's like when you're listening to the radio and you hear the alert tones for the Emergency Alert System. You don't magically gain the ability to spy on anybody listening to a radio.
post #16 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by l008com View Post

I'm confused. Since when do iPhones have software updates that don't come from Apple?
There is a seperate carrier update section that usually is not updated but can...Will this change the carrier version?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky King View Post

I DO NOT WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS ALERT SYSTEM. It is unconstitutional and should be optional. If you feel the same way please email Apple, AT&T, and your elected representative. A big enough outcry can get these bureaucrats to change their mind.
You don't haft to, Pay closer attention (you are considered a troll likely now)
post #17 of 97
Just checked(it updated instantly when checked carrier version) and now is 14.1 and duh it is an on/off switch(es)
post #18 of 97
T-Mobile customers where able to receive these alerts since April! I can get a little annoying when you receive an AMBER alert at 4 o'clock in the morning from somewhere a couple of hundred miles away. I turned amber off but the other ones could be useful. Especially if you live near a vulcano and earthquake area.
post #19 of 97
Carrier Updates actually do go through an Apple approval process and are actually pushed by Apple.

All that said, I noticed when I switched to T-Mobile I have receive some emergency weather messages already. In fact, I was sitting in a restaurant about a month ago when I heard their radio give the emergency tone and read off a flood alert warning message. My phone immediately popped up the same emergency alert.
post #20 of 97
T-mobile has had this on my iPhone for a while. I shut it off.
post #21 of 97
If you go to Settings > General > About, a dialog is displayed stating the update was applied.
post #22 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky King View Post

I DO NOT WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS ALERT SYSTEM. It is unconstitutional and should be optional.

It's a one-way alert system that let's you know a hurricane is coming or if terrorists are at America's door. (Or whichever country the iPhone owner is in)

One-way.


Also, there's clearly an on-off switch right there in the picture... It's optional, relax.
post #23 of 97

Actually you can't disable "Presidential Alerts" which is an euphemism for nuclear attacks (used since the days of the EBS).

post #24 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky King View Post

I DO NOT WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS ALERT SYSTEM. It is unconstitutional and should be optional. If you feel the same way please email Apple, AT&T, and your elected representative. A big enough outcry can get these bureaucrats to change their mind.

 

I demandeth that thou government supply a quantity of cotton wool for my ears, so ye town crier doth not wake me from my sleep. Sky King 1713 

Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
Reply
Better than my Bose, better than my Skullcandy's, listening to Mozart through my LeBron James limited edition PowerBeats by Dre is almost as good as my Sennheisers.
Reply
post #25 of 97
I am on StraightTalk (an AT&T MVNO), and my iOS 7 device (yes, I am a developer) got it as well!
post #26 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by waldobushman View Post

I'm so f'king tired of the seeming 10s of millions dumbass Americans who couldn't pick their own nose without help claiming everything is unconstitutional this and unconstitutional that.
This guy may be off on the wrong foot but the behavior of the Federal government only fans the flames. The reality is this administration has engaged in many unconstitutional activities some bringing comments from federal judges. In a nut shell it doesn't help to keep the whack jobs under control when factual behavior is well documented.
Quote:
Please cite specifically the language in them constitution that would forbid this activity and cite the court decisions backing up your typically dumbass opinion.

Maybe you should try reading the Constitution and Bill of Rights. Everyone has a right to self expression even if it borders on stupid.
post #27 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by oberpongo View Post

T-Mobile customers where able to receive these alerts since April! I can get a little annoying when you receive an AMBER alert at 4 o'clock in the morning from somewhere a couple of hundred miles away. I turned amber off but the other ones could be useful. Especially if you live near a vulcano and earthquake area.

Child abduction is a horrible thing but I don't honestly see how rolling Amber alerts into this system will actually help with this problem.
post #28 of 97
Well...if the emergency alert system for AT&T's iPhones are anything like the emergency alert system on my T-Mo iPhone, you can't actually turn off all the emergency alerts. If I remember right, the "Presidential" and "Imminent Threat" alerts can't be turned off. No surprise there because they aren't there as options to toggle on or off.

Also...if I remember right, wasn't there some law or something passed a few years ago that made it mandatory for *all* cell phones manufactured after that law was passed to receive these alerts? I could've sworn that something had gotten passed regarding this...I remember that my Samsung Galaxy II had just barely made it as one of the phones that wouldn't get this alert system. But even my mom's dumbphone that she got a year or so ago gets these emergency alerts pushed to her phone. So no...it's not unconstitutional to have the emergency alerts pushed to your phone, whichever one it is.

If you don't like it, I have a tip for you: Just turn your phone off if you know things are bad but you don't want to be bothered to receive alerts. I've done this before...the emergency alert system definitely needs work because it doesn't seem that there are priorities with what needs to get pushed out as an alert, complete with the Emergency Broadcast System alert sound--just like the kind you used to hear on the TV years ago. Within my first week of owning the T-Mo iPhone 5, I got freaked out when the thing gave me an emergency alert--an AMBER Alert regarding a missing child in TX, of all places--and I live in IL. I had the phone sitting next to me. The alarm was very loud and it seems there's no way to turn down the volume...my own phone's volume was set pretty low at the time. The alert scared the hell out of me. I immediately turned off the AMBER Alerts on my phone. Since then, I've gotten warnings about flash flooding, but the areas being mentioned were a little too far away to apply to me. And once, it was just drizzling out here and I got a warning about flash flooding in the suburbs. So when we get severe storms overnight, for instance, I turn off my phone. I know I'm tempting fate here, a bit, but seriously...the system does need work. Mostly, I think the system needs to decide what needs that Emergency Broadcast System sound and what doesn't. AMBER Alerts are serious, sure, but I don't think they're serious enough to need that sound.
post #29 of 97
It is wrong and NO, you can't opt out of it. You cannot opt out of the presidents personal forced line of communication with you. You can only opt out of the AMBER and FEMA alerts.

This is the equivalent of forcing you to subscribe to instant alerts from my twitter feed. I haven't found anything regarding what the president can and cannot send to me, and truthfully, I don't want him sending me or my kids unsolicited messages.
post #30 of 97
The only one of the three types you can't opt out of are the Presidential ones. Of course I don't see any reason to disable the other two either. If there's a severe weather alert or some train car is leaking toxic chemical clouds in my area I'd like to be aware of it. Some users mention it gives the government a way to track the location of every cellphone used in the US and they distrust plans for it. Well heck the carriers already know where you are anyway and shares it with authorities when needed. This doesn't add a new tracking layer AFAIK.

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2011/05/president-obama-could-send-text-message-warnings-in-new-plan-system.html
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
post #31 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by ziadjk View Post


It's a one-way alert system that let's you know a hurricane is coming or if terrorists are at America's door. (Or whichever country the iPhone owner is in)

One-way.
 

 

 

How does AT&T know which location I'm in in order to send me a tornado warning? Is this based on the address information AT&T has on file or actual location services on my phone?

 

I would tend to think that the latter - using location services - would be the case, thus implying that this is a two-way communication, not just a one-way communication between the EAS and myself as others have suggested.

post #32 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianCPA View Post


How does AT&T know which location I'm in in order to send me a tornado warning? Is this based on the address information AT&T has on file or actual location services on my phone?

I would tend to think that the latter - using location services - would be the case, thus implying that this is a two-way communication, not just a one-way communication between the EAS and myself as others have suggested.

It's based on your current location, not your billing address. You can't opt-out of carrier tracking.
Edited by Gatorguy - 6/15/13 at 8:01am
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
melior diabolus quem scies
Reply
post #33 of 97
I don't care how many people have done this before me; the point needs to be made this forcefully.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sky King View Post

I DO NOT WANT TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS ALERT SYSTEM.

Dang. If only there was a switch of some sort. A switch that, I don't know, allowed one to put these alerts in a state whereby they would no longer be on. A state akin to, oh, say, OFF.


Quote:
Originally Posted by James Hays View Post

It is wrong and NO, you can't opt out of it.

Apparently we need better alt text on the images on this site, because a lot of blind people are reading it.

You cannot opt out of the presidents personal forced line of communication with you.

Even if you weren't blind and illiterate, and regardless of your personal political preferences, I think everyone in the country would be fine with this as long as it was a two-way system, you know? "If he can't shut ME out, I'd be fine with ignoring him," you know? lol.gif

So again, look at the images.
Quote:
You can only opt out of the AMBER and FEMA alerts.

So where is this magical presidential hotline, anyway? You seem to be whining about something that doesn't exist.

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
Reply

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
Reply
post #34 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by Macboy Pro View Post

The way I read this, they are rolling out an update on the AT&T network to allow the network to receive and carry these alerts.   They are not touching your iPhone or its IOS.

Incorrect. There is definitely an update to the software in your phone and a change. Go to notifications and you'll see the two new toggles. Apple may have put the ability into iOS 6 a while a ago and this just activated it but its definitely an adjustment in the phone and not just the towers.
Edited by charlituna - 6/15/13 at 8:21am

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply
post #35 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianCPA View Post


How does AT&T know which location I'm in in order to send me a tornado warning? Is this based on the address information AT&T has on file or actual location services on my phone?

Tower you are connected to.

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply

A non tech's thoughts on Apple stuff 

(She's family so I'm a little biased)

Reply
post #36 of 97
"AT&T adds emergency alert system" so that Big Brother can talk us whenever it wants.

Sure this system is optional now. But since it is in our own best interest, how long before these become mandatory alerts? How long before we are require to acknowledge official alerts with a thumb print? And how the heck do we know what this or any other software update mandated by the government really contains in a closed system? Where can I get a look at the source code of this update to make sure it has nothing else in there to spy on us with the location tracking, microphones or cameras?

I fully admit that the above is paranoid thinking but if there is one thing the last couple of weeks have taught us is that we are not being paranoid enough.
post #37 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by GrangerFX View Post

Where can I get a look at the source code of this update to make sure it has nothing else in there to spy on us with the location tracking, microphones or cameras?

Nowhere, because you're already being tracked. Has nothing to do with this update.

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
Reply

Originally Posted by Marvin

The only thing more insecure than Android’s OS is its userbase.
Reply
post #38 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by BrianCPA View Post


How does AT&T know which location I'm in in order to send me a tornado warning? Is this based on the address information AT&T has on file or actual location services on my phone?

I would tend to think that the latter - using location services - would be the case, thus implying that this is a two-way communication, not just a one-way communication between the EAS and myself as others have suggested.

Of course the nearest tower knows your location.
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
"Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example" Mark Twain
"Just because something is deemed the law doesn't make it just" - SolipsismX
Reply
post #39 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post


This guy may be off on the wrong foot but the behavior of the Federal government only fans the flames. The reality is this administration has engaged in many unconstitutional activities some bringing comments from federal judges. In a nut shell it doesn't help to keep the whack jobs under control when factual behavior is well documented.

 

WTF does Obama have to do with this?  Are you one of THOSE people?

post #40 of 97
Quote:
Originally Posted by waldobushman View Post


I'm so f'king tired of the seeming 10s of millions dumbass Americans who couldn't pick their own nose without help claiming everything is unconstitutional this and unconstitutional that.

Please cite specifically the language in them constitution that would forbid this activity and cite the court decisions backing up your typically dumbass opinion.

 

^^^^^^^

New Posts  All Forums:Forum Nav:
  Return Home
  Back to Forum: iPhone
  • AT&T adds emergency alert system to iPhone 5 and 4S with software update [u]
AppleInsider › Forums › Mobile › iPhone › AT&T adds emergency alert system to iPhone 5 and 4S with software update [u]