Emergency SOS is activated by pressing on the sleep/wake button of
an iPhone five times in rapid succession. When the requisite
number of presses is complete, it brings up a screen that offers
buttons to power off the iPhone, bring up your Medical ID (if
filled out) and make an emergency 911 call.
Along with these options, there’s also a cancel button. If you hit
the sleep/wake button five times and then hit cancel, it disables
Touch ID and requires a passcode before Touch ID can be
re-enabled. Touch ID is also disabled if you actually make an
This is a handy hidden feature because it allows Touch ID to be
disabled discretely in situations where someone might be able to
force a phone to be unlocked with a fingerprint, such as a robbery
or an arrest. With Touch ID disabled in this way, there is no way
to physically unlock an iPhone with a finger without the device’s
It’s also worth noting that there’s no real way to tell that Touch
ID has been disabled in this manner.
This is a fantastic feature. In addition to being useful for anyone with Touch ID, it will also assuage concerns over coerced unlocking of your phone with a facial ID scanner (which is widely believed to be coming in the new high-end iPhone).
Once iOS 11 ships, spread the word about this to your friends and family.