Advanced Mobile Location
Back on February 11, 2017, the European Union (EU) observed the day when they decided on a single emergency phone number. No matter where you are in the EU, dialing 112 will get you to Emergency Services. This emergency system uses Advanced Mobile Location (AML) which accurately pin points the caller’s location.
A Good Service
This is a good thing in so many ways. Let’s say a child or an elderly person calls the emergency number but doesn’t know where they are. Or perhaps a severely injured person that can barely speak calls for help. Or perhaps you’re a victim of a crime in progress and the only thing you can do is dial the number.
With Google’s introduction of its Emergency Location Service, 99% of Android devices are able to take advantage of this feature without having to do anything. It doesn’t kick in unless an emergency service phone number like 911 in the US or 112 in the EU is dialed.
Digital Trends wrote an article last year that explains how this works in a quote from Emergency Location Service Product Manager Akshay Kannan. “When you dial an emergency service number like 911, your Android phone determines your precise location using a collation of Wi-Fi, GPS, and cell tower data. It works “both indoors and outdoors, and far more reliably than conventional emergency technologies”.
When you use your smartphone to make an emergency call AML turns on GNSS (global navigation satellite system) and Wi-Fi. This, in turn, allows accurate location of the device. Before AML the best location was an approximation of a broader area. This made it very difficult for emergency services to pinpoint one’s location. With AML the accuracy is within a few meters.
Why Is AML Not Supported In iPhone?
So this raises an interesting question. Why doesn’t Apple enable Advanced Mobile Location? The iPhone is everywhere. Its users would certainly appreciate the peace of mind. Nice knowing that if needed, this ability is as close as dialing 911. In the upcoming iOS 11, Apple has made contacting emergency services easier. A new feature called SOS. But it does not address support for AML. I don’t think privacy is the reason since the feature is activated only after the user dials the emergency service.
Look For More Details On This
I have been looking for some statement from the Cupertino Giant to get a handle on what their objection might be. I haven’t had any luck so far. Rest assured if I can locate any more information on this I will post it here. If you know of any published information on Apple and its position on Advanced Mobile Location please drop me a line. I’d like to share this with all of our readers.