IPAWS: New Procedure for Opting-In to WEA Tests on Apple Devices

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IPAWS Advisory
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New Procedure for Opting-In
to WEA Tests on Apple Devices

The Wireless Emergency Alert enhancements of December 2019 include the ability to send WEA tests that perform like any other WEA alert, with the exception that only wireless subscribers who opt-in to tests will receive them.

Testing allows you to assess WEA performance without disturbing the public with non-emergency messages.

Please see IPAWS Tip #27: WEA Testing…Which Event Code? for more information on sending tests.

Live tests sent to the public without the Event Code for testing require FCC permission in advance of the test. Tip #28: FCC Waivers for Live WEA Testing covers this issue in detail.

Change to Apple Devices

Mobile phones ship from the manufacturer with the test option turned off. In May 2022, Apple changed the procedure for opting-in to tests, for devices running the latest versions of its operating systems.

This new procedure involves downloading and installing a software component, then turning on an alert option in the device settings. Devices running older versions of the OS use a prior procedure.

Both are explained in the Apple support document About emergency and government alerts on iPhone and Apple Watch. The section concerning test options is titled Choose to receive Test Emergency Alerts in the United States.

Android Devices

The settings for Android remain unchanged. Google's Android support site includes WEA information on this page. To opt into tests, search Notifications for Wireless Emergency Alerts and enable State/local test alerts.

2022 IPAWS Users ConferenceIPAWS 24/7 Technical Support Services: 1-84-IPAWSLAB / 1-844-729-7522