Mobile devices are not just for entertainment and are useful at work. In an emergency, smartphones etc. can even save lives. Some important functions are rather unknown.

Whether at work or at leisure – mobile devices are now part of our daily lives. However, they are not only useful for communicating or entertaining. Developers are also continually expanding the emergency functions. For example, iPhones have been able to send out an SOS signal via satellite since December 2022.

In addition to the obvious functions such as emergency calls, there are other useful applications that are relatively unknown. The IT company Geonode has therefore looked into some of the hidden features.

Hidden functions: This is how the smartphone can save lives

“Smartphones have the potential to be life-saving beyond their typical use,” explains technology expert Bruce Roth. Surprisingly, many users do not know that their smartphones have impressive security mechanisms. For example, users can store medical information, set up SOS messages or trigger light signals.

Health and medical emergencies

Most smartphones now offer the option of storing specific emergency contacts. If in doubt, all you need to do is press a button to inform the relevant people.

Users can also store emergency medical information. For example, if you suffer from a chronic illness or allergies or need specific medication, you can save this information on your mobile device. Emergency personnel can then access it when needed, saving valuable minutes and avoiding errors. These features also work when the smartphone is locked.

SOS messages: Smartphone can save lives

Various smartphones have a feature that allows owners to send an SOS message by pressing a specific key combination. The pre-prepared message and, if necessary, the location and photos reach pre-determined emergency contacts. Where the function can be found varies depending on the cell phone model.

Generate light signals with your smartphone

Some smartphones can send out light signals via display or flashlight in an emergency. Normally, these so-called flash alerts are particularly useful for people with hearing impairments. They indicate that messages, calls or other communications are incoming.

However, the function can also be useful in an emergency to generate a visual warning signal using a flashing light and thus draw attention to yourself.


Some smartphone models can also amplify the audio of a selected area while recording video. So when you zoom in, the device focuses on the sound and tries to suppress background noise.

This audio zoom can be beneficial when users are trying to hear something from a distance or in a noisy environment, or when they want to record conversations or sounds from a specific source.

Saving lives with security apps

The app stores offer a variety of security applications that can help users in dangerous situations. For example, there are applications that play alarm sounds or dial an emergency number when those affected open the corresponding app.

“If you use these apps effectively, you can maintain a constant connection with your loved ones or emergency services, even in risky situations,” says Geonode’s Roth. His recommendation: Smartphone owners should familiarize themselves with what the app stores have to offer and configure various security apps.

Offline maps

Smartphone users have the option of downloading offline maps. However, very few people use this function in everyday life. But if you get lost and no longer have reception, you can easily find your way around again using this feature and, if necessary, avoid dangerous situations.

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