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iPhone Emergency(and non) Text Trick

Before you ask... no, I wasn't mugged... but I was recently in a situation that started seeming really dodgy. I wasn't scared, but just to be safe I popped open my text message app on the iPhone and sent a message to the first person on the list(a good friend) that just said, "hey if I don't text you back in 5 minutes I've been mugged." Not the best wording I know, but I was rushed and it got me to thinking... there's got to be a better way to do this.

The iPhone with iOS version 5 has a really neat new feature that is super useful but it's kind of hidden. Check out this link for a pretty full rundown about how to use it Do Yourself a Favor: Set Up These Custom Typing Shortcuts on Your iPhone Right Now. But the long and short of it is this:

  1. Open up the Settings app on your iPhone's home screen.
  2. Tap the General section.
  3. Tap the Keyboard section.
  4. Swipe down to the bottom and tap the button labeled "Add New Shortcut..."
  5. Under "Phrase" type the phrase you want the shortcut to expand to, and under "Shortcut" type the shortcut you want to type instead. For example, if you wanted "brb" to expand to "be right back", you'd type "brb" for the shortcut and "be right back" for the phrase.
  6. Tap save when you're done.

So with that awesome trick in mind I thought... "Hey why not use that to setup an emergency message." So I set up a phrase that said something like, "I might be in trouble right now, if you don't hear back from me in 5 minutes call me. If I don't answer call the cops." I set the shortcut to "911."

I'll admit, it's not a perfect system, but it's better than nothing. 

Alex Remembers Watching 24