We’re all excited about Notification Center, Twitter integration, iMessage, and all the other wonderful features that will come with iOS 5 later this year. But for Japanese users there’s one feature that may be far more useful than tweeting a picture of your cat directly from your camera roll: quake alert warnings.
References for a ‘Quake Alert’ notification were first discovered in iOS 5 beta 2, and according to 9to5 Mac, Japanese users running the latest iOS 5 beta can now activate the feature within Notification Center settings. Once activated, the feature will provide a warning to users up to two minutes before an earthquake.
Time, who profiled Japan’s earthquake warning system after the devastating events earlier this year, explains the country’s early-warning system:
Japan has the most advanced earthquake early-warning system in the world. A nationwide online system launched in 2007, it detects tremors, calculates an earthquake’s epicenter and sends out brief warnings from its 1,000-plus seismographs scattered throughout the country, one of the most earthquake-prone nations on the planet.
For those of you whose Japanese isn’t as good as it could be (like mine), the screenshot above warns that this feature will deplete your battery life and incur data charges because of its constant connection to Japan’s earthquake warning system.
With this feature built-in to iOS 5, Japanese users will no longer have to rely on third-party apps in order to take advantage of quake warnings on their iPhone.