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Latest Galaxy S23 update makes important change to emergency SOS feature

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Last updated: June 23rd, 2023 at 00:10 UTC+02:00

Samsung made up for the delayed release of the June 2023 update for the Galaxy S23 flagship by packing the update with a sizable number of improvements and a couple of new features. The update debuted a few days back in some Asian countries and expanded to Europe this week, and we've discovered that the update makes an important change to how the emergency SOS feature works on the Galaxy S23 series phones.

On older versions of One UI, Samsung Galaxy phones dialed an emergency number when the power button was pressed three times in quick succession, and the emergency SOS feature was always enabled. Samsung later added the option to disable the feature, and on newer phones, such as the Galaxy S23, Samsung also changed the required power key presses from three to five to bring things in line with how they work on Google's stock version of Android.

Emergency SOS call shortcut cannot be disabled anymore

But with the June update that is rolling out to the Galaxy S23 series right now, Samsung has removed the ability to turn off the emergency SOS feature. It's unclear if this was a deliberate change or an accidental one, but once you install the June update, pressing the power key five times will initiate a call to whatever emergency response number is used in your country (for example, it's set to call 911 in the US and 112 in India).

Here's how the emergency SOS menu, accessed from the Safety and emergency section of the device's settings, looked before (left) vs how it looks now (right):

Galaxy S23 emergency sos change

Now, it's not exactly easy to accidentally press the power key five times and initiate an unwanted emergency call. It's also not a good idea to disable a feature that could help you in a crisis. In fact, most people probably aren't even aware that you could disable the emergency SOS shortcut in the first place, so this change isn't likely to affect most users.

But those who did know and had it disabled should keep in mind that after updating to the June firmware, the emergency SOS shortcut will be permanently enabled. Whether or not this is something Samsung will address with future updates remains to be seen, but we will be sure to let you know if anything changes, so stay tuned!

Thanks for the tip, Dave!

Phone Galaxy S23Galaxy S23 PlusGalaxy S23 UltraJune 2023 security patch

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