Apple is to incorporate an earthquake warning system in its next major operating system update for Japanese owners, in the wake of a disaster earlier this year that claimed the lives of 1,800 people.
The function, which was uncovered by 9 to 5 Mac after scrutinising the iOS 5 platform update set to debut on the iPhone 5, enables users to receive notice of tremors up to two minutes before they occur.
The feature, which is linked to the Japanese government’s nationwide earthquake monitoring network, works even when owners have got their phone in ‘silent’ mode.
Alas, it’s not all good. Apparently, because the warning reminders require users to be connected to the central warning system at all times, they can cut into the handset’s battery life. But we think that’s a small price given that lives are at stake.
The feature is one of many contained in iOS 5 that have only recently come to light, including the option to update apps without coming out of the App Store, as well as indications that the phone could offer 4G support in the US.
9 to 5 Mac