Apple to offer early earthquake warnings in Japanese iOS 5

The latest beta for Apple's latest update to its mobile operating system, iOS 5, contains an additional entry under the "Notifications" category in Settings to enable notifications for any nearby tremors or earthquakes. 

The new feature, available only to Japanese iOS users, will maintain a constant connection to Japan's earthquake early warning system. This system, considered the most advanced in the world, contributed to fewer casualties in the March 2011 Tohoku earthquake that caused extensive property and economic damage in Japan.

This system will send notifications to users minutes or even seconds of an oncoming earthquake. A downside is the constant connection to the early warning system will have a small impact on the device's battery life, as the grey text in the above screenshot describes.

9to5Mac points out that early warning notifications on iOS devices is not new, with third party apps such as Yurekuru Call providing the same functionality. In addition, a few non-Apple handsets, such as the Fujitsu IS12T, also have the same functionality built in.

iOS 5 is set to launch sometime later this fall. The new OS is expected to launch alongside the upcoming iPhone 5 and the new iPod touch. iOS 5 will be available for iPhone, iPad, and iPod touch users, with exception to those on iPhone 2G/3G devices and first or second generation iPod touches.

Image Credits: Earthquake image from US Navy (via Wikipedia), screenshot from 9to5Mac

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16 Comments

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greenwizard88 said,
What about for East coast US users?! C'mon, we have earthquakes too you know!

Apparently we do! LOL

But in all honesty, we don't have the system in place that the Japanese do. Apple (And Microsoft, since it's already in WP7) didn't install high tech equipment all around Japan to monitor for earthquakes... Japan put the system in place and allows companies to receive notifications of earthquake warnings and send them to their customers... If the US had such a system (Which would cost a fortune that we no longer have), I'm sure they would try to implement a warning system over here in their devices as well.

In other news, if iOS 5 on the 3GS is as bad as iOS 4 was on the 3G, you'll be dead by the time you get the earthquake notification.

iPhuck said,

+1

Thank you. I was just gonna reply and post the same link.

This neowin "news" is another bad example of the media favoring everything iCrap. Please neowin, you can certainly do better...


+1 To everything you said.

"points out that early warning notifications on iOS devices is not new, with third party apps such as Yurekuru Call providing the same functionality."

Uh..yeah ok.

ahhell said,
"points out that early warning notifications on iOS devices is not new, with third party apps such as Yurekuru Call providing the same functionality."

Uh..yeah ok.

I believe the word you are looking for is innovation. Take something from someone else and call it a new feature, 1 of 100s something.

sexypeperodri said,
Apple always exceeding. This is excellent news.

Exceeding does not mean "innovation." Apple was exceeding by providing a helpful and potentially live-saving feature for nothing as a standard feature. This is indeed "exceeding" the norm, and a very welcome addition.

Trueblue711 said,

Exceeding does not mean "innovation." Apple was exceeding by providing a helpful and potentially live-saving feature for nothing as a standard feature. This is indeed "exceeding" the norm, and a very welcome addition.

Would be amazing if they made this in the USA except also for tornado's. If one hits over night and you are sleeping, the only time it will wake you up is when it is there. An alarm system that does the same thing for tornados would have a very good impact here.

Trueblue711 said,

Exceeding does not mean "innovation." Apple was exceeding by providing a helpful and potentially live-saving feature for nothing as a standard feature. This is indeed "exceeding" the norm, and a very welcome addition.

I know, that is why I said exceeding.

sexypeperodri said,
Apple always exceeding. This is excellent news.

...at copying others? WP7 has this already in Japan. It uses a service set up by the Japanese government to warn residents. It's nothing new or all that amazing really. I'm amazed Apple waited this long to implement the feature honestly. They must have had this brainstorm while watching one of Microsoft's announcements...

M_Lyons10 said,

...at copying others? WP7 has this already in Japan. It uses a service set up by the Japanese government to warn residents. It's nothing new or all that amazing really. I'm amazed Apple waited this long to implement the feature honestly. They must have had this brainstorm while watching one of Microsoft's announcements...

It's only news if Apple does it.

M_Lyons10 said,

...at copying others? WP7 has this already in Japan. It uses a service set up by the Japanese government to warn residents.

Really? Haha, Apple fans swallow anything.

sexypeperodri said,

I know, that is why I said exceeding.


I was agreeing with you. I meant to reply to the trolls above saying "Uh, yeah ok" to your original comment.