Google brings Emergency SOS to Wear OS, expands Earthquake Alerts

Earthquake Alerts on Pixel 6
(Image credit: Google)

What you need to know

  • During the I/O 2022 keynote, Google announced Emergency SOS is coming to Wear OS. 
  • This is a feature that is already available on our smartphones, but is coming to smartwatches. 
  • Google also announced an improved Earthquake Alert system will soon arrive on smartphones.

Amidst all of the hardware announcements during the I/O 2022 keynote, Google also shared some new software features that are soon to be on the way. These latest features surround personal safety, as Emergency SOS alerts are coming to the best Wear OS smartwatches.

This is something that is already available on the best Android phones, as it allows you to easily contact a trusted friend, family member, or call emergency services from your wrist. Once available, Emergency SOS can easily be activated, with a prompt appearing to select emergency services or your trusted contacts.

Emergency Alerts on Wear OS

(Image credit: Google)

You’ll also find a large button at the bottom to cancel the SOS call being made, with a button to end the call and another one providing more options appearing after the call has been made. As expected, your Wear OS smartwatch will need to be paired to a phone with a network connection or have built-in cellular connectivity. We wouldn’t be entirely surprised if Emergency SOS for Wear OS doesn’t start rolling out until the Pixel Watch is officially released.

Google also confirmed that earthquake warnings are being expanded into more “high risk” areas. We’re expecting to learn more about this over the coming months, but Google didn’t provide specifics in regards to which regions the feature is coming to.

This isn’t a brand new feature but makes use of your phone’s accelerometer along with regional information to determine whether an earthquake has occurred. From there, you will receive a notification on your phone that will then be shared with those around you. If possible, the notification will also provide information in regards to how you can remain safe in the event of an earthquake. 

Hopefully, these new features arrive sooner rather than later, but with Google’s history, it wouldn’t surprise us if it doesn’t arrive for at least a month or two. We’ll likely hear more as we get closer to the launch.

Andrew Myrick
Senior Editor - Chromebooks and tablets

Andrew Myrick is a Senior Editor at Android Central. He enjoys everything to do with technology, including tablets, smartphones, and everything in between. Perhaps his favorite past-time is collecting different headphones, even if they all end up in the same drawer.