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Smartphone Emergency SOS vs. The Rescu App
Personal Safety

Smartphone Emergency SOS vs. The Rescu App


All modern smartphones come equipped with an emergency SOS feature. Here’s how they stack up to Rescu

At first glance, you might see the Rescu app and think:

Why do I need that when my phone has a built-in SOS feature?

And that’s a great question. Smartphone SOS systems have only gotten better over the years, providing new and improved conveniences and allowing users to customize how they work.

But when you look closer, you’ll find there’s a reason Rescu is the fastest and most reliable way to get help in an emergency. In the article below, we’ll break down how emergency SOS works on both Apple and Android phones, and the key features that set Rescu apart.


Apple Emergency SOS

Apple’s SOS feature (available on iPhones using iOS 11 or later) allows users to quickly call emergency services, automatically share their location with responders, and notify emergency contacts in one of two ways.

First, you can press and hold the power button and a volume button at the same time to access the “Emergency SOS” slider. Or, if you go to the Emergency SOS section of the Settings menu, you can enable “Call with 5 Presses.” This feature automatically calls local emergency services when you press the power button five times in quick succession. 

You can also turn on “Call with Hold,” which will save you the trouble of using the slider and skip right to calling emergency services when you use the first method.

Once you end the emergency call, your iPhone will automatically text your emergency contacts with your current location and a message letting them know you’re in trouble.

One of the best parts about Apple’s Emergency SOS feature is that you can use it anywhere in the world and it will contact the local emergency number. You might run into some trouble explaining your situation if you don’t speak the language, but you can always enlist the help of a passerby.

It’s also important to note that the SOS feature in the iPhone 14 and all later models allows you to text emergency services using satellite coverage when there’s no WiFi or cell service.


Android Emergency SOS

Depending on what type of Android device you have, you can either set up Emergency SOS in the Settings app or a preinstalled Safety app.

Google Pixel Phones

If you have a Pixel, you can activate the SOS feature by tapping the power button five times. Like the iPhone, Pixel SOS is designed to contact and share your location with local emergency services worldwide, allowing you to call for help wherever you happen to be.

If you want to customize how it works, you can use the Personal Safety app to turn on features, such as a loud alarm that plays when you activate SOS, location sharing with emergency contacts, and an emergency video recording.

Samsung Galaxy Phones

For Samsung Galaxy users, you can get the job done in your Settings app. However, unlike iPhones and Google Pixel phones, the Galaxy Emergency SOS feature doesn’t contact emergency services.

Instead, when you tap the side button a predetermined number of times (can be set to three or four), it sends SOS texts to your emergency contacts. Depending on what you enable in your settings, these messages can include a link to your location, photos from your phone’s front and rear cameras, and a five-second audio recording. 

You can also set your phone to call one of your emergency contacts automatically when you activate the SOS feature.


The Rescu Difference

How it Works

The Rescu app allows users to instantly dispatch first responders to a pre-registered address or their current location anywhere in the US with just two taps. One tap for the service they need—fire, police, or ambulance—and one to send the alert.

This system was designed so emergency victims don’t have to talk over the phone if they’re unable to or simply don’t want the added stress. 

When they send an alert, the app automatically provides responders with their pre-registered medical information and notifies all listed emergency contacts. That way, emergency personnel will know how to care for them, and their loved ones can stay updated and lend a hand if possible.

On the next screen, users have the option to start a phone call or open a text chat with a Rescu dispatcher. These features allow them to provide additional information about their emergency if they’re willing and able to safely do so.

What Separates Rescu from Smartphone Emergency SOS?

20x Faster Than 911, Guaranteed

Rescu is based in the US, so it can’t provide worldwide service. However, it does provide the fastest way to get help here in the states, and that’s mainly because it doesn’t rely on the 911 system.

When you use your smartphone SOS feature in the US, you’re still beholden to the uncertainty of the public emergency system. That means you’re vulnerable to time-consuming question-and-answer sessions, cellular network outages, and delays due to call triaging, non-emergency calls, and staffing shortages.

In fact, just last month there was a massive network outage that left millions of Americans without cell service, leaving many without the emergency help they needed.

On the other hand, when your alert comes through Rescu HQ, a dispatcher contacts, sends vital information, and dispatches the nearest response team to you within seconds. Network outage or not.

No questions, no triage, and no talking required. But of course, if you need them, they’re always just a text or call away.

Rescu’s private, 5-Diamond-rated, UL-certified monitoring center ensures your SOS will always go through—without getting placed on the back burner. This friction-free system makes Rescu exponentially faster than 911. Twenty times faster, in fact. 

Avoid Giving Away Your Location 

During an intruder or active shooter situation, speaking to a dispatcher, sounding an alarm, and recording a video can put your life at risk. 

Rescu takes these threats off the table, allowing you to dispatch help instantly and open a text chat with your dispatcher. And if you have the alarm enabled on your Android phone, you could blow your cover and put yourself in danger. 

Get Help at Home While You’re Away

Unfortunately, if you’re out of town, you can’t use 911 to send emergency responders to your home address. If you try, you’ll reach the local authorities for your current location and be right back at square one.

But with Rescu, if something goes wrong at home while you’re traveling, you can dispatch responders to one of four specific addresses in the US from anywhere in the world. 

This feature is perfect for homeowners with DIY security or smart home systems that notify them of active threats. 

Choose the Service You Need

Unlike smartphone SOS, Rescu lets you choose which service you need—fire, police, or ambulance. This crucial step ensures emergency personnel have an idea of the situation they’re stepping into and can respond accurately and efficiently once they arrive.

Let’s say you’re in an intruder or active shooter situation and you use your phone’s emergency SOS feature. If you can’t speak without giving away your location, how will you tell them what service to dispatch? How will they know what to expect when they show up?

If you have an Android phone, the emergency photos may provide some context. But if not, and text to 911 isn’t available in your area, you may be out of luck.

An Invaluable Service for the Deaf & Hard of Hearing

Rescu provides deaf and hard of hearing people with a faster, more reliable way to get emergency help than 911. 

Since text to 911 isn’t available nationwide, and using a TTY phone during a crisis is far too time-consuming, Rescu’s streamlined system offers the perfect solution. 

When they send an alert, responders will know through their medical information that they’re hearing impaired, as well as any other special considerations to be aware of. 

That way, they can provide personally tailored care when they arrive. And all throughout the process, the user can communicate with their Rescu dispatcher via text.


Ditch the Doubt, Get the Guarantee

There’s no room for uncertainty in crisis response. 

When you send for help, you shouldn’t have to worry about your emergency call being placed on hold or not going through.

Rescu guarantees you and your family the fastest response times available, while also providing quality-of-life features that empower first responders to do their jobs to the best of their ability.

To learn more about how Rescu provides the best in emergency response, check out our website. If you’d like to see the app for yourself, use the buttons below to get started.

Download on Apple Get it on Google Play

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