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apple watch – iWatch Emergency SOS Countdown Timer Not Working

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Last night my mother attempted to engage the Emergency SOS function on her iWatch by holding down the side button, but the countdown timer did not function – it just brought up the screen where she needs to use the slider to proceed, which she was unable to do. She has used the button facility twice previously on this watch without issue. I could see nothing obviously wrong with the setup, and my iWatch brought up the timer as expected when checked.

Her watch was not running latest OS (now updated to 9.5), her phone and my phone were not on latest OS (now both 16.5). Her watch is A2476 (series 7 cellular), mine is A2724 (SE 2nd gen cellular).

I started digging through all the watch settings to try and figure out why hers was not functioning. As far as I understand it, only “Hold Side Button to Dial” needs to be enabled under Emergency SOS for this to work. I have not managed to get her watch working again – but I DID manage to get mine to stop working!

Mine periodically now starts working again, but it all seems a bit random. I managed to capture a 2 minute video of getting my phone from a non-working to a working state, but as you can see, everything I was doing was all a bit random. Switching the watch to Aeroplane Mode seems to have been the trigger in this instance to re-activate the countdown timer, but that makes absolutely no sense?

It does not stay working – it has since stopped again. Possibly leaving it in aeroplane mode (not useful!) would have kept the timer working, I suspect it’s talking to something once back on the network, which throws the feature off, even though “Hold Side Button to Dial” is still configured on the watch, and the phone wasn’t back on.

This looks seriously to me like some form of bug somewhere, any suggestions on anything I might try to get the countdown timer working reliably again?

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