A Florida woman is lucky to be alive after her car flipped into a marsh by a Tampa highway, apparently saved by a combination of her Apple Watch, iPhone, and Google Maps.
As Amanda Antonio’s car began sinking into mud and filling with water, she realized that she could ping her submerged iPhone with her Apple Watch, according to a segment on NBC’s “Today.” This allowed her to call 911, putting her in touch with a dispatcher who tried to keep her calm while emergency crews worked to locate the car.
The search took some time, to the point that water was rising over Antonio’s chest and her iPhone battery fell under 5 percent charge. She then realized she could help by loading Google Maps, which narrowed her location down to the road by an amphitheater.
It’s not clear which iPhone or Watch models Antonio had, but the iPhone was likely a 7 or later, as that’s when Apple began officially waterproofing hardware. The iPhone 6s had some limited sealing, but this only reduced the chance of water damage and didn’t carry an IP rating.
A number of stories have emerged of Apple technology being used in emergencies, and indeed Apple itself has started exploiting them in marketing. The company has sometimes been blamed for causing accidents though, for instance by failing to prevent people from using FaceTime when driving. Apparently admitting the problem, it implemented a “Do Not Disturb While Driving” feature in 2017’s iOS 11.