Smartphones give us the benefit of always being connected, making them a key instrument in any emergency situation. Google is looking to capitalize on that for Android 12 by boosting some of its most essential features. An all-new “Safety & emergency” section has been added to the settings menu, giving you quick access to your most vital details and linking directly to the Pixel’s Personal Safety app.
This new menu makes space for all your personal information, including medical history, blood type, and more. You can also add emergency contacts to the list to be reached in the event of any catastrophe. Car crash detection — a Pixel-exclusive feature — allows your phone to detect if you’ve been involved in an auto accident, while crisis alerts notify you about nearby natural disasters and public events in your area. Finally, you can also control your emergency SOS settings here, a feature that launched in the first dev preview before reappearing in Beta 1. Emergency SOS allows you to quickly dial 911 just by clicking your power button five times.
Left: Pixel’s Personal Safety settings. Middle: Android 12 Beta 1. Right: Android 12 Beta 2.
For Beta 2, Google has tweaked the menu’s layout a bit, adding an icon for SOS and moving around a few options. It’s also placed a link to the Pixel-exclusive Personal Safety app right at the top of the page. That software contains a couple of features you can’t access from this menu, including safety checks and emergency sharing.
At least on Pixel devices running the Android 12 beta, all of the information in the “Safety & emergency” menu is populated from Personal Safety. It’s still unclear whether any or all of these settings will appear on every phone when a stable Android 12 build goes live later this year; it could depend on whatever safety features each manufacturer decides to bake into the OS. Either way, it’s good to see some space made for info as vital as this.