After Apple took the wraps off its new mobile operating system, enthusiasts noticed something that the company labeled as “Government Alerts.” It appears to be iOS 6’s interface for Wireless Emergency Alerts or Commercial Mobile Alerting System.
In compliance with the National Alerting Program, the WEA will be coming to Apple devices that will run on the new mobile OS once it arrives this fall. The iOS 6-compatible devices include iPhone 3GS, iPhone 4, iPhone 4S, iPod Touch 4G, iPad 2 and the new iPad. This means that users with older iPhone will be able to receive WEA messages once they upgrade their handset to the new mobile software.
This could mean “big news” for those who are working in the emergency management industry, especially to those manufacturers who already opted in their mobile devices to receive emergency alerts. In addition, users can now receive alerts from the local, state and federal officials via Federal Emergency Management Agency’s Integrated Public Alert and Warning System. Furthermore, users can check in their handset or their carrier’s website to see if their device is capable of receiving emergency alerts.
The good thing about Government Alerts is that users can opt out of the feature by heading on the Settings menu. Using a toggle on/off button, owners of Apple devices can stop receiving alert messages if they want to.
National Weather Service on WEA
Other than landing on iOS 6, IPAWS will also have an upcoming big event. That’s because the National Weather Service also plans to use CMAS to deliver WEA by the end of this month.
This means that iPhone and iPad users will be able to receive weather report, in addition disaster alerts, once their devices started running on iOS 6. It will also use a unique tone and vibration to notify a user. However, thunderstorm alert is not included in the package.
With the WEA and CMAS now arriving on mobile devices, now is the time for local and state authorities to join that National Weather Service. This would enable them to issue alerts for imminent threats in and around the area.
There were no further details with regards to Government Alerts, as the company was unable to detail it during their annual Worldwide Developers Conference last week. On the other hand, the US government’s Wireless Emergency Alert system went live last month. In fact, carriers were already offering this feature, enabling users to receive alert via SMS, regardless of their mobile OS.