It has been revealed that new Japanese iPhone users, will receive the option to obtain earthquake alerts under the new version of Apple's iOS operating system.

It reports that the new feature will be added to the device's large notification centre in iOS 5, which is expected to be released in September/October time.

Japan currently has a very sophisticated early warning system, which collects large readings from more than 1,000 seismic sensors scattered across the country.

Earthquake warnings are historically issued through radio, television and more recently, text message under the Area Mail Disaster Information Service.

For SMS, the system works by sending out a mass cell broadcast (SMS-CB) to all handsets in a designated area.

3G cell phones are compelled by Japanese law to include SMS-CB technology. However, many foreign-made phones do not currently support it.

The message accompanying Apple's new feature reads: "The earthquake early warning/alert. When the setting is on, your battery life may be reduced."

Posted in: Apple