Apple adds earthquake warnings to iOS 5
Apple’s forthcoming iOS 5 will give Japanese users the option to receive earthquake warnings.
According to users with access to beta versions of iOS 5, a new option in the Notification Centre settings will allow users in Japan to choose to receive earthquake alerts. iOS 5 is the new version of the operating system that runs Apple's iPhone, iPod touch and iPad devices.
The instructions warn users that enabling the option could decrease battery life, Apple blog 9to5 Mac reported.
Japan has had an online earthquake warning system since 2007. It provides anything up to two minutes warning before an earthquake strikes and that time can be vital for getting people to safety. The system can already deliver text alerts to mobile phones.
Apple’s iOS 5 was announced in June this year at the company’s Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco. Though no release date has been confirmed, it is thought likely that it will be released in September or October.
Aside from the Notification Centre, which is an improved way of dealing with incoming messages and reminders, iOS 5 adds iMessage, messaging between iOS devices, Reminders and a Newsstand application for magazines and newspapers.
The update is expected to be made available along with a new version of the iPhone, which is rumoured to include a faster processor, improved camera and, possibly, a larger screen.