What you need to know
- Google says it's rolling out Air Raid Alerts to help Ukrainians who are affected by the war
- These alerts will provide notifications to citizens before an expected shelling takes place
- It is likely going to be integrated directly into Play Services
Google has started rolling out Air Raid Alerts to help millions of people in Ukraine who are affected by the war.
In a blog post, Kent Walker, president of Google’s Global Affairs, says the company has been working with the government of Ukraine, “at their request,” to roll out rapid Air Raid Alerts for the best Android phones.
These alerts are important as they provide notification to citizens before an expected shelling takes place.
“This work is supplemental to the country’s existing air raid alert systems, and based on alerts already being delivered by the Ukrainian government,” he writes.
The news comes a couple of hours after XDA Developers revealed that Google is likely working on bringing this feature through an APK teardown. XDA notes in its article that Google is integrating air raid alerts directly into Play Services.
XDA adds that the addition of air raid alerts into Play Services means that “the vast majority of Android users should actually be able to receive alerts on their phones, even with the app.”
“It will save users from needing to install an entirely separate app, which may prove useful to those who may not use their phones as much, may not have seen the Ukrainian Alarm on the Google Play Store, or may not be tech-savvy,” XDA adds.
Walker adds in his blog post that Google in Europe will be removing apps from Russian state-funded media beyond RT and Sputnik from Google Play. That also includes removing these from Search results in the EU.
He did add that free services like Search, Gmail, and Youtube are still operating in Russia.
More recently, Google said it was also clamping down on misinformation and helping users stay safe online.
Google's YouTube also has imposed restrictions and has prevented RT and other Russian state media from earning ads on its platform. YouTube is also hiding these channels from its recommendations and blocking them in Ukraine at the behest of the country's government.
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Shruti Shekar is Android Central's managing editor. She was born in India, brought up in Singapore, but now lives in Toronto and couldn't be happier. She started her journalism career as a political reporter in Ottawa, Canada's capital, and then made her foray into tech journalism at MobileSyrup and most recently at Yahoo Finance Canada. When work isn't on her mind, she loves working out, reading thrillers, watching the Raptors, and planning what she's going to eat the next day.