No matter where you live, the world can be a scary place. We don't like to think about ourselves being in a sticky situation, but in the event you're in trouble, it's important that you have the necessary tools to get help.
If you have a Pixel phone, you owe it to yourself to set up and use the Personal Safety app. It's home to a suite of safety features that can legitimately save your life in a time of need, and getting everything properly configured takes just a few minutes.
Today, we'll be walking you through everything the app has to offer so you can ensure you're getting the most out of it.
How to set up the Personal Safety app
Before we can do anything else, we need to make sure the Personal Safety app is set up and ready to be used. The setup process takes some time as it sees you filling out your medical information, but it's an essential step in making the most out of the application.
- Open the Personal Safety app on your Pixel phone.
- Select the Google account you want to use.
- Tap Continue as [your name here]
- Tap Next if your emergency contacts are already selected (or tap Add contact to add more).
- Fill out your blood type and allergies.
Tap More to see additional options.
- Fill out your medications, address, medical notes, and indicate your organ doner status.
Once complete, tap Done.
With all of that finished, you're now free to use the Personal Safety app and all of the features it brings to the table.
As for all of that medical information you just filled out, it's now easily accessible in the event that you're in an emergency and someone like a police officer or EMT needs to view it.
Simply hold down the power button on your Pixel device, swipe to the right to see your emergency card, and tap it. This shows all of that info, along with your emergency contacts and shortcuts to call them.
How to use safety check
One of the more recent additions to the Personal Safety app is something called "safety check." This allows you to make it so that your Pixel will check up on you while you're out running or walking alone, and if you don't respond within a set amount of time, it'll alert your emergency contacts.
To set it up:
- On the Personal Safety home page, tap Safety check.
Tap Reason to change your reason for enabling the feature.
- Tap Duration to change how long it's active for.
- Tap the toggle if you want your contacts to get a notification about you turning this on.
Tap Turn on.
On the next page, you'll see a confirmation of all your settings — including the reason for your safety check, when the app will check in with you, and the contacts that will be notified if there's no response from you.
You'll find shortcuts on the bottom of the page for calling 911 or sharing your location with your emergency contacts. If you're in a different app, you can always view your notification panel to see a persistent safety check notification with those same shortcuts.
When the app checks in on you at the set time, you'll have 60 seconds to confirm that you're OK. If you confirm in time, safety check will be turned off. If you fail to respond, your location will be shared with your emergency contacts.
You can also manually turn off safety check at any time before the check-in by tapping the Turn off button on the safety check page in the Personal Safety app.
How to use emergency sharing
Another important feature in Personal Safety is emergency sharing. When you enable this, your emergency contacts will have instant access to your real-time location so they can see where you're at in a time of need.
- On the Personal Safety home page, tap Emergency sharing.
- Enter your reason for sharing your location (this is optional).
- Confirm the emergency contacts you want.
Once you share your location, your emergency contacts will get a text letting them know you're sharing your location with them, along with a Google Maps link through which they can track your real-time location.
The emergency sharing page also has a shortcut for calling 911, and when you're ready to stop sharing, just tap the Stop button at the top of the page.
How to set up crisis alerts
We live in an ever-changing world, and sometimes, it's not always the safest. If a natural disaster or another personal safety issue pops up in your area, you can configure your Pixel to alert you about it — ensuring you always stay in the know of what's going on around you.
- On the Personal Safety home page, tap the gear icon in the upper-left corner.
- Tap Crisis alerts.
Tap the toggle to turn the feature on.
Once crisis alerts is enabled, you don't have to do anything else to make it work. If/when a situation arises, you'll get a notification to keep you informed.
How to use car crash detection
Car accidents happen all the time, and while we certainly hope you're never involved in one, the Personal Safety app has an excellent tool for lending a helping hand in the event that you are.
- On the Personal Saftey home page, tap Turn on on the car crash detection widget (if this doesn't show up, tap the Gear icon in the upper-left corner and then Car crash detection).
- Tap Yes, I'm in.
Tap Allow to allow the app to track your physical activity.
- Allow the app to access your phone's location.
- Tap Allow to allow access to your phone's microphone.
Tap the toggle to allow access to your Do Not Disturb settings.
- Tap Allow to confirm the Do Not Disturb access.
Tap the back arrow.
With car crash detection enabled, your phone will vibrate and sound an alarm at maximum volume in the event it detects that you were involved in an accident. You'll also get a pop-up on your screen asking to confirm that you're OK, along with a shortcut for calling 911. If you tap that you're OK, you can indicate if it was a minor crash or if there wasn't a crash (if it's a false positive, indicating that there wasn't a crash will help the feature be more accurate).
If you fail to respond, your phone will call 911 on your behalf with your location info.
Stay safe out there
With all of that out of the way, you can now let out a little sigh of relief knowing that your Pixel has your back.
You should always keep your wits about you and do what you can to prevent yourself from being in a situation where you need emergency help, but should it come to that, these features are invaluable.
Be smart and stay safe, folks.
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