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MacRumors reports that a patent application named "Method and system for prolonging emergency calls", shows that Apple has been researching methods on how to prolong emergency phone calls on the iPhone. Some methods that Apple could be working on are the ability to define whether or not a call is an emergency call, switching to more power efficient settings while on an emergency call, confirmation buttons and tasks to prevent accidental disconnections, and even the ability to send automated messages and information through pre-defined "phrase buttons".

For example, if the user presses a button to disconnect an emergency call, emergency-mode processor 106 may query the user for confirmation before disconnecting the call. The confirmation may be in the form of a button, a code or password, a verbal acknowledgement, and/or other input by the user. Emergency-mode processor 106 may even disable the user's ability to disconnect the call. As a result, the call may only be disconnected by someone (e.g., an emergency operator) on the other end of the emergency call. Further, the user may select settings to specify the level of difficulty and the methods of disconnecting emergency calls. The user may also select settings for each individual emergency number. For example, the user may disable the ability to disconnect a 911 call while activating a disconnect confirmation in other emergency calls.
Apple stated that specific numbers such as 911 could automatically be considered as an emergency call while others can be determined by users. If a call is detected to be an emergency call, for it to be disconnected the iPhone would ask for some sort of confirmation before allowing the user to disconnect. The iPhone may even disable non-essentials such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth to save battery life while on an emergency call. Emergency phrase buttons could enable users to send pre-recorded audio files to notify 911 dispatchers that the caller may be choking and even send automatic transmission of GPS coordinates and request a friend or family member to contact them.



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