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

Posted:
in iPhone edited January 2014
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.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 99
    l008coml008com Posts: 163member
    I'm confused. Since when do iPhones have software updates that don't come from Apple?
  • Reply 2 of 99
    kimk69kimk69 Posts: 77member
    l008com wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 3 of 99
    sky kingsky king Posts: 189member
    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.
  • Reply 4 of 99
    You don't have to participate. You can turn it off. Sheesh
  • Reply 5 of 99
    sessamoidsessamoid Posts: 182member

    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.

  • Reply 6 of 99
    poochpooch Posts: 768member
    You don't have to participate. You can turn it off. Sheesh
    sessamoid wrote: »
    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?
  • Reply 7 of 99
    BuffyzDeadBuffyzDead Posts: 327member


    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.

  • Reply 8 of 99
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,980member
    sky king wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 9 of 99
    dasanman69dasanman69 Posts: 12,980member
    pooch wrote: »

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

    Try saying that fast 5 times :lol:
  • Reply 10 of 99
    sky king wrote: »
    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.
  • Reply 11 of 99


    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.

  • Reply 12 of 99


    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!

  • Reply 13 of 99
    mac_128mac_128 Posts: 3,431member
    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!
  • Reply 14 of 99
    td912td912 Posts: 25member

    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.

  • Reply 15 of 99
    l008com wrote: »
    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?

    sky king wrote: »
    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)
  • Reply 16 of 99
    Just checked(it updated instantly when checked carrier version) and now is 14.1 and duh it is an on/off switch(es)
  • Reply 17 of 99
    oberpongooberpongo Posts: 134member
    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.
  • Reply 18 of 99
    focherfocher Posts: 640member
    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.
  • Reply 19 of 99


    Big deal. This was on my ATT ICS two plus year Galaxy phone, two years ago.

  • Reply 20 of 99
    tbelltbell Posts: 3,146member
    T-mobile has had this on my iPhone for a while. I shut it off.
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