When a 2-year-old Florida girl went missing late Sunday night, an Amber Alert emergency notification lit up the screens of iPhone users in the state, waking up many of them. They took to Twitter to register their annoyance and to the Internet find out how and why they had received the alert.
Denise Hernandez was discovered missing around 11:30 p.m., but was found by authorities about nine hours later, wandering in a field near her home in her white nightgown. As the news of the missing girl spread across iPhones using Apple iOS 6, the intentionally loud notification woke up many iPhone users.
Turns out, the alerts are now on by default for many smart phones, and can apparently be quite startling. Many took to Twitter to complain of the nuisance or to learn what was happening. Because the alerts are not interactive, users cannot tap the alert to get more information.
The new Amber Alert is a digital version of notices on the emergency broadcast system which interrupts television and radio broadcasts. But as fewer people are dependent on those mediums for information, authorities have sought other methods of spreading vital, time-sensitive information.
This system "relies on broadcast SMS to push notifications to smartphones for weather threats, Amber Alerts and presidential alerts. The system went live in New York City at the end of 2011" and went live in the rest of the nation shortly thereafter, according to cell phone site Gotta Be Mobile
As the phrase "Amber Alert" trended in the U.S., it was clear many users aren't yet used to this kind of intervention.
Other Twitter users were less surprised by the announcement itself than they were the lack of information people had on the system.
© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.