User Manual

AutoSOS Operation Modes

AutoSOS as Alarm Sender

Unlike other alerting applications

  • AutoSOS does not need any data connection (neither WLAN nor GSM). I.e. no need to purchase data packages for alerting (neither at home nor abroad).
  • AutoSOS does not send any data, except the SMS to the predefined alarm recipients.


  • We strongly recommend using smartphones as alarm recipients. Each alarm recipient needs to be able to receive SMS and to open the link to Google Maps received through the SMS. This requires an internet connection.
  • Sending SMS and initiating alarm calls can incur costs.

AutoSOS as Alarm Recipient

Any mobile phone can receive the alarm SMS from AutoSOS and display the position on Google Maps using the link in the alarm SMS (if GPS was available when the alarm was triggered).

If the alarm recipient also has AutoSOS installed, the following additional functions are available:

  • On reception of an alarm SMS, AutoSOS emits an alert sound, even in silent mode, and opens a window offering the following possibilities:
    • Stops the alerting sound
    • Initiates the alarming mobile phone to call back.
      At the push of a button, an SMS command is sent to the alarming mobile phone, telling it to call back.
    • Displays the received GPS coordinates (by SMS) in a map
    • If the received SMS contains cell phone tower + WLAN data (instead of GPS coordinates) AutoSOS uses an internet service to calculate the approximate location based on this data. If the request is successful, the resulting coordinates can be displayed on a map.

Main Screen

On the upper part of the main screen, active alarms are listed, which rarely need to be disabled/enabled (for enabling/disabling them, see “Menu” => “Settings”). They are listed without control boxes.

This list can show the following available alarms:

  • by activating the SOS button
  • by clicking the Flic button (add-on)
  • when the battery is low of charge

In the lower part of the main window, alarms are listed which are often enabled/disabled, depending on the situation. The control boxes serve to enable/disable them.

These include the following available alarms:

by clicking the power button 3x or more [1]
by holding/3x-click of a volume button [3]
by unplugging the earphone [2]
if no motion
Timer Alarm [4]

Each of the control boxes from above can be un-/hidden (see “Menu” => “Settings”).

[1] by clicking the power button 3x or more

AutoSOS raises the alarm when the display turns:

ONOFF and back ON
OFFON and back OFF
in less than ~2 seconds.

No alarm will be raised if the button is pressed too fast for the display in order to be able to react.

If the triggering of such an alarm mistakenly triggers a call to an official emergency number, this is because Android’s alerting function is enabled. This function can be deactivated under the Android settings.

In Android, only system Apps are allowed to directly detect power button presses.
Thus, AutoSOS – as a normal App, without special rights – can only monitor the display on/off state, not the power button itself.

[2] unplugging the earphone (without raising any Alarm)

If a call is already started (i.e. phone is ringing or the call has already been answered) the headset can be pulled off without raising an alarm. The same should work for VoIP-Apps like Skype, WhatsApp, etc. But this depends on your Android version and on the VoIP-App.

[3] by holding/3x-click of a volume button

AutoSOS triggers this alarm when one of the volume buttons is pressed 3x within ~2 seconds. On most devices holding a volume button will also raise the alarm.

Triggering this alarm when the screen is off can be affected by built-in functions on some devices. (e.g. the photo camera app of Honor phones takes a photo when the “volume down” button is pressed 3x. In this case, the “volume up” button can be used instead to trigger this alarm.) Possibly, the built-in function can be deactivated.

To stay with the Honor mobile phone example, you have to click the “volume up” button 3x to trigger this alarm. Holding the button does not work with the screen off. On Samsung phones, on the other hand, this works by holding and clicking any volume button.


  • When this alarm is activated, the phone volume can only be changed when sound is playing. Or you can disable this alarm temporarily.
  • During the playback (Music, Phone-Call, Skype, etc.), this alarm will not work!

In addition to cell phone volume buttons, Bluetooth remote controls can also be used to trigger this alarm, such as Bluetooth Camera Shutter Remote Control

Please follow the operating instructions of the respective devices to pair them with the cell phone.

Bluetooth Remote Shutter Controls

  • Be aware that Bluetooth remotes do not use Bluetooth Low Energy Technology (BLE). So, they automatically turn off after a few minutes to save battery. Then, they need to be turned on and reconnected. (Unlike the Flic Buttons, which use BLE and always stay on and automatically reconnect fast.)
  • We recommend testing the Bluetooth remote control intensively.

[4] Timer Alarm

Application example for a timer alarm:

  • You go to take a shower and want an alarm to be triggered in 15 minutes, should you slip and no longer be able to manually trigger a help alarm.

Three different timer alarms can be predefined to be activated quickly – depending on the situation. Only one of these alarms can be activated at a time.




SMS PIN (Personal Identification Number)

The SMS PIN  is your Personal Identification Number that will be used in SMS commands.
This number secures SMS commands/functions like: RING, CALL, etc. from unauthorized execution.

E.g. #PIN#RING makes the phone ring, even if muted. The use of a PIN is mandatory, in order to prevent unauthorized use of the SMS commands. The PIN is used as a password, consisting only of digits. The command will only be executed, if the SMS contains the correct PIN. The PIN must be at least four digits long.

Optional SMS Settings

SMS Sender

In the optional field “SMS sender” the own name and a short text can be entered, so that the recipients of the SMS message can easily recognize who has sent the alarm SMS.


SMS Simulation Mode

When the simulation mode is enabled, AutoSOS does not send SMS. AutoSOS only displays a window that shows the SMS instead of sending it. Thus, SMS messages can be tested as often as desired without inducing costs.


In simulation mode, all functions requiring SMS delivery are disabled (such as the current position on the alarm). The reception of SMS is not restricted.

Aid Tools

  • Show speed dial on lock screen

When enabled, a list of “alarm recipients” will be shown every time the display is turned on. Thereby “alarm recipients” can be individually called by holding the button. No alarm will be raised. Deactivated “alarm recipients” will also show on the list.

Alarms can be raised by the SOS button. Alarms are only sent to enabled “alarm recipients”.

In case on your mobile phone the speed dial does not show, try disabling the following option.

  • Auto close when screen is unlocked


This control box allows the activation/deactivation of the following alarms:

  • when battery is low of charge

By selecting the following alarms, they will be shown on the main screen accordingly:

  • by 3x clicking the power button [1]
  • by holding/3x-click of a volume button [3]
  • by unplugging the earphone [2]
  • if no motion
  • Timer Alarm [4]

Advanced Settings (Orange Text)

Activating/deactivating the following checkbox (at the very bottom of Settings), displays/hides the settings described in this chapter:

  • Show advanced settings

Alarming: Enable Alarming

This option is enabled by default.

If this option is disabled, the alarming functionality is deactivated. AutoSOS will stop registering movements and stop trying to determine the actual location (saving energy). AutoSOS will only act as an alarm receiver from other AutoSOS installations.

Alarming: Enable Alarm Sound

In order to avoid false alarms, alarms will show a forewarning window with a countdown.
If activated, an increasing warning sound will be emitted during the countdown.
The warning sound is activated by default and will be emitted also if the mobile phone is muted or in vibration mode. If disabled AutoSOS only warns by vibration.

Alarming: Alarm Countdown Length

Forewarning time (countdown time) in order to allow aborting the alarm. Each of the alarms listed under “Settings” has its own countdown length.

Value range: 0 (forewarning disabled) to 60 seconds.

Alarming: Motion Checking Rate

Specifies the time between tests for any significant movement (provided that this alarm is activated). The shorter the interval, the higher the energy consumption.

Default value: 1.5 minutes

Alarm Recipients

Six mobile phone numbers can be entered. Individual numbers can be temporarily disabled/enabled by using the control boxes. Empty alarm recipient entries are ignored.

By pressing the button “Send SMS with command descriptions” a list of SMS commands and short explanations will be sent to all activated alarm recipients. The recipients can use this SMS as a cheat sheet, in order to control AutoSOS via SMS.

Hint: With active SMS simulation mode the command list will be displayed without any SMS being sent.

List Received Alarm SMS

AutoSOS stores alarm SMS received from partner AutoSOS. They can be listed using “List received alarm SMS“. This eases the task of re-querying for the location coordinates if the first query fails. For example because of a bad internet connection.

The elements of the list support the following operations:

  • By clicking a list element with the result:
    • “Successful Query”
      The position where the alarm has been raised is displayed on a map.
    • any other result (excluding: “invalid data”)
      The request can be repeated.
  • By holding the list element the following options are offered:
    • delete the element
    • send a callback command to the sender of the alarm SMS
    • “forward” *) the text of the alarm SMS
    • If available, “forward” *) the result of the request
      The result of the request can be the URL with the coordinates of the location, but can also be an error message if the request failed.

      *) for example via SMS, email, to the clipboard, etc.
  • Elements can also be deleted by swiping them to the left


This main menu command is the only way to really stop the AutoSOS App. Only by this, the automatic restart of AutoSOS will be disabled and none of its functions are available anymore.


Flic Button

The Flic button is another option to trigger alarms with Android version KitKat and higher. They connect to the mobile phone via Bluetooth.
Flic buttons are not distributed by us. Further information is available at


Please check the version/model of the Flic Button on the package. Flic2 packages have Flic2 printed (very small) on the side. Flic packages of the first generation have only Flic printed. Flic2 buttons came to the market at the end of 2019. Currently, mostly the new Flic2 buttons are sold.

These setup steps are only needed by the first-generation Flic buttons.
Flic2 buttons (second generation) do not require the Flic app to be installed.

  • Install the Flic App from App Play Store
  • Set up your Flic account using the Flic app
  • Pair the Flic button with the mobile phone according to Flic App manual and test it

Flic2 Button

  • With the AutoSOS App:
    Menu” => “Add-ons” => “Flic button setup
  • In the Flic configuration dialog, choose the section that corresponds to your Flic button Model
  • Click on the blue screen button

Disconnect / Release

  • Menu” => “Add-ons” => “Flic button setup
  • In the Flic configuration dialog, choose the section that corresponds to your Flic button Model
  • Click on the yellow screen button “Release: «name»” for the Flic button to be released

Burglar Alarm

By means of this dialog (“Menu” => “Add-ons” => “Burglar Alarm“), AutoSOS can be configured to report/alert loudly the reception of alarm SMS from your alarm system, even if the mobile phone is in silent mode.

Extras …

Calibrate Motion Detector

Acceleration sensors have variations in their measurements even when the mobile phone is at rest. The calibration establishes a threshold for these variations. To avoid this problem of incorrect measurements, a “minimum motion value” (threshold) is determined by calibration. All variations of the acceleration below this threshold will be ignored when AutoSOS is detecting motion.

Leave the mobile phone resting on a flat surface until the calibration finishes. Press the start button to start the calibration process. The calibration will run until the threshold is not overstepped anymore. Every time the threshold is overstepped, a new higher threshold is set and the calibration time will be extended by another 30 seconds. The remaining time is constantly displayed.

SMS Commands

AutoSOS can be controlled using the following SMS commands which must be secured by an “SMS PIN”.
For example, if the number 221155 has been specified as SMS PIN, AutoSOS will react to the following SMS commands.

  • #221155#LOC
    AutoSOS sends an SMS back containing the last known position.
    If a 1 is appended to the SMS end (e.g. #221155#LOC#1), AutoSOS will only sent the first known location back, even if it is not an optimal position measurement.
  • #221155#RING
    AutoSOS initiates the mobile phone to ring during 1 minute even if it is in silent mode. The duration can be changed by specifying a number at the end. For example, #221155#RING#35 makes the mobile phone ring for 35 seconds.
  • #221155#CALL
    AutoSOS calls back to the SMS sender. (For security reasons, during max. 1 h after an alarm has occurred.)


Always begin SMS with # as the first character (do not use space characters).

Coordinate Calculation Requests

Coordinate calculation requests are only required if no GPS reception was available when the alarm was triggered. Therefore AutoSOS can not send GPS coordinates (to the alarm recipients via SMS). Data about cell phone towers + WLAN data of access points will be sent instead. On the alarm recipient side, this information will be forwarded by AutoSOS to an internet service, requesting to calculate the approximate location.


The alarm recipient must be connected to the internet in order to make the calculation requests as mentioned above.

The success of these requests depends on the existence of data about the cell phone tower + WLAN access points in the internet service database. Thus, AutoSOS cannot guarantee the success of requests. AutoSOS has no influence on this internet service since it is not maintained by AutoSOS.

Transmitted Data

The additional usage of WLAN can substantially improve the accuracy of the location. If no WLAN access point data is available, the best accuracy reached using only cell phone towers is a 2 km radius. Together with WLAN data, the accuracy could be improved up to a 29-meter radius.

The “WLAN data” is the information about WLAN access points received by the mobile phone, containing only:

  • Access point name
  • Frequency-Band
  • Signal strength
  • MAC-Address


Some mobile phones are capable of receiving such WLAN data, even if WLAN is disabled. If this is not possible, a request to enable the WLAN will be shown.