How Google is trying to ensure future Android phones offer important safety and emergency options


Google Mobile Services or GMS is an important suite of apps for all Android users. This suite contains some of the most essential apps and more, that are all bundled together in a single package. Android Police reports that a new rule in Android 12 prioritises and has added a set of basic requirements on the “Safety & emergency” settings page of your phone that manufacturers have to meet.
This rule ensures that every Android user has at least a base level of protection against earthquakes, and other fatalities. The report adds that currently emergency contacts, medical information, location services, emergency SOS, earthquake and emergency alerts are a must for all apps under the GMS rules.
Several features have already been available in Android for years, either provided directly by Google or by the device manufacturers. Currently, it is considered compulsory for all regular phones and tablets.
“Emergency SOS” is one of the options on this list that might look unfamiliar if you are still on Android 11. This feature is new to Android 12 and it was included in Pixel devices in the Personal Safety app. This feature was one of the earliest ones to show up during 2020 developer previews. The SOS feature allows users to tap the power button five times to contact emergency services after a five-second wait.
The report also mentions that many of these — including wireless emergency alerts, location services and earthquake alerts, are all included in Android’s settings menu through Play Services, but all of them might not be available in all regions of the world.
Not only the new GMS requirements, but screen readers for visually impaired users are also a mandatory component now for the latest Android update. TalkBack might be the best-known among these services that can be included by pre-installing the Accessibility Suite app.


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