How Well Does Apple Optimized Crash Detection Help Snowsports Users? The Case of the Nebraska Highway Patrol, Snow Parks, and HomePods
It’s not the first time Apple’s optimized Crash Detection. After reports of it triggering false alerts when iPhone owners were riding rollercoasters, Apple released iOS 16.1.2 in November, which also included changes to the system. Apple didn’t explicitly say that the update was meant to solve false positives — nor has it said that the latest update is meant to address the issues with snow sports — though since it came out, there haven’t been too many stories of rollercoasters triggering crash alerts. Theme parks close during winter, so it is worth noting.
When it calls law enforcement, it will play an audio message that alerts authorities you’ve been in a crash, and also provides them with your location. (An Apple Watch with Crash Detection can only notify authorities if you have your iPhone with you, or if it’s connected to a mobile network or Wi-Fi.)
In a demolition derby-style experiment last month, Apple’sCrash Detection feature was found to be unreliable. While Crash Detection did recently help detect and alert authorities about a fatal crash in Nebraska, the feature clearly has its flaws.
Bringing smartphones on rides isn’t really a smart idea to begin with, but the risk of false 911 calls might be all the more reason to leave the iPhone 14 (and other devices) behind before getting in that bumper car. Otherwise, you can opt to put your phone on airplane mode or just disable the feature altogether.
Apple has released iOS 16.3.1, which includes “optimizations” for the iPhone 14 and 14 Pro’s Crash Detection feature that’s been criticized by some search and rescue personnel for setting off false alarms during winter activities like skiing and snowboarding. The update includes fixes for iCloud settings, and Apple has released new software for tvOS and the Mac as well.
false emergency notifications are more serious than false emergencies, and Apple is trying to fix those as well. iOS 16.3.1’s release notes say it’s meant to fix an issue where Siri Find My requests weren’t working, and a 16.3.2 update for HomePods and Apple TVs is meant to address a problem where “asking Siri for smart home requests may fail.” However, one Verge staffer asked his HomePod to find his iPhone after updating both devices and still got a message saying he would have to use the app to find someone’s location, so the jury’s still out on whether everything is working as it should.
While you’re updating your phone, HomePods, and Apple TV, it’s probably worth updating your Mac as well. macOS Some important security updates and patches were included in Ventura 13.2.1, and Apple says there is a hole in it.