Apple Confirms More Problems For iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro Buyers

Apple Confirms More Problems For iPhone 14, iPhone 14 Pro Buyers

iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max models are still inundating 911 dispatchers with false distress calls, despite updates to their automated Crash Detection feature. Apple has confirmed that it is aware of the problem.

It follows a spotlight thrown on the issue by The New York Timeswhich did an in-depth report on the avalanche of Crash Detection false flags triggered at ski resorts in Summit County, Colorado. The report claims that emergency call centers are struggling to cope, and phone operators “must put other calls, including real emergencies, on hold to clarify whether the latest siren has been prompted by a human at risk or an overzealous device.”

Problems for iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro buyers continue to mount…

NurPhoto via Getty Images

Breaking down numbers for January, the report states that Summit County, Colorado emergency calls doubled year-on-year to 185 and “the onslaught was threatening to desensitize dispatchers and divert limited resources from true emergencies.”

Apple introduced Crash Detection last year for all iPhone 14 models, the Apple Watch Series 8, Ultra, and second-gen Watch SE. It works by combining gyroscope, accelerometer, barometer, microphone and GPS data with motion algorithms. When it detects a crash, an alert will be displayed onscreen for 10 seconds, emergency services will be called automatically if the alert is not dismissed.

Crash Detection received widespread criticism at launch, notably triggering on roller coasterswith fairground owners setting up signs recommending the feature was disabled before rides. Apple released an update for the Crash Detection algorithm in Decemberbut the problem of false alerts refuses to go away.

The NYT reports county sheriff Sgt. Mark Watson is writing to Apple about the issue. Summarizing his message to the company, Watson said: “I’m struggling to get my daily job done. I don’t have all day to do Apple products.”

Crash Detection on the iPhone 14 Pro and Apple Watch Series 8


“My whole day is managing crash notifications,” said Trina Dummer, interim director of Summit County’s emergency services. Dummer told The NYT that her team “very rarely” receives false 911 calls from other devices, including Android phones — which introduced the feature back in 2019. “Apple needs to put in their own call center if this is a feature they want,” she added.

In response, an Apple spokesperson told The NYT it is “aware that in some specific scenarios these features have triggered emergency services when a user didn’t experience a severe car crash or hard fall.” He added that the feature had been “optimized” last year without committing to further updates.

In Apple’s defense, there have been a number of well-publicized incidents where Crash Detection has come to the rescue, and the Apple Watch, in particular, has been praised by medical professionals. In response, cynics will say making this feature overly sensitive is bound to clock up wins as well.

For those keeping count, iPhone 14 and iPhone 14 Pro buyers can add this problem to a list that includes iMessage and FaceTime activation issues, CarPlay, data migration and iCloud bugs, shaking camera lenses, random restarts, lock screen and Dynamic Island glitches, excessive battery drain and horizontal lines flashing on displays.


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