Pixel’s Personal Safety app lets users record video in emergency SOS mode

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Probably one of the most useful apps exclusively available for Pixel devices is something called Personal Safety. The app has several features that will be automatically activated when the user may be in a not-so-safe situation. It’s getting an update now called emergency SOS that will automatically activate an action when you press the power button five times. This depends on the choice that you make when setting it up and includes options like calling the emergency services hotline or recording a video that will be saved in the cloud.

According to XDA Developers, version 2021.08.27 of the Personal Safety app includes a new Emergency SOS feature. Pixel users will be able to choose what pressing the power button 5 times will do. One option is to have it call the emergency services hotline in the area. The other one is to share real-time status updates on their location to people that they will set as their emergency contacts. The third option is to start a video recording that can last up to 45 minutes and will be uploaded to your cloud service.

When you set up your emergency SOS, you can also choose whether or not there will be an alarm sound when it is triggered as there are situations when the SOS needs to be discreet. If you choose the video recording option, you will have to have an internet connection during the emergency situation since it will be backed up to the cloud. You can also chose to send it to an emergency contact or just let it upload to the cloud and not do anything.

When you press the power button 5 times to send an emergency SOS, you have 5 seconds to cancel it or to let it proceed. You’ll see a UI with several buttons and a camera viewfinder so you can still choose other options when it launches. You can also continue using your smartphone “normally” even when it’s on the SOS mode. For example, the video will continue recording but can be minimized to a picture-in-picture window. There’s a persistent notification to remind you that you’re still recording.

Once you’ve updated your Pixel device to the latest version, you’ll see the emergency SOS settings in Settings > Safety & emergency. It seems to be available for those running on Android 12 only.

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