New toggle in iOS 15.6 turns on government emergency alert tests | Cult of Mac

New toggle in iOS 15.6 turns on government emergency alert tests

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When the government sends out test emergency alerts, you can be in the know.
When the government sends out test emergency alerts, you can be in the know.
Photo: FEMA

Worried that the U.S. government is trying to make sure emergency alerts it sends to smartphones are working — and you don’t even know about it?

Well, now you can make sure you receive those test alerts thanks to a new toggle Apple added to iOS 15.6 and the third iOS 16 beta.

‘Test Alerts’ toggle added to iOS 15.6 and iOS 16 beta 3

Apple added a new “Test Alerts” toggle to the Settings app in iOS 15.6 and the third beta of iOS 16. This follows the unexpected disappearance of the battery icon in the Find My app.

Only people with iPhones connected to a U.S. cellular carrier can see the new toggle. Turning it on allows users to enable test emergency alerts from the U.S. government.

Turning on “Test Alerts” lets you get test alerts on both iPhone and Apple Watch.

Where is this thing?

You can find the toggle in the Settings > Notifications > Government Alerts (scroll all the way down). It’s turned off by default, so just click on the button to enable it.

Apple said the content and the frequency of the test alerts are up to the government.

Before this, you could enable test alerts on previous versions of iOS by installing a special profile from Apple. Or you coulddial a code in the Phone app. But now the toggle provides a simpler method to opt in to receive test alerts.

Apple has updated support documents with more details for iPhone and Apple Watch.