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Pixel phones are receiving faster access to local emergency contacts

Old emergency dialer on Pixel 6 Pro
(Image credit: Nicholas Sutrich)

What you need to know

  • Pixel phones are receiving an update that replaces the emergency dialer number pad with quick press options.
  • Users will be able to customize this list, including personal emergency contacts and local emergency services.
  • This UI was first tested last Summer during the Android 12 beta.

Google is rolling out a new, less complicated emergency dialer on its Pixel phones to help folks more quickly call emergency services when an actual emergency arises. Previously, the emergency dialer — which can be accessed by swiping up on the lockscreen and tapping "Emergency call" — pulled up a number pad that can be used to dial 911 in case of emergency.

This new update, found by Android Police, removes the number pad in favor of quick sliders, which can be configured to dial an emergency contact, local police or fire rescue, or any other emergency categories you feel would best help in a harrowing situation. That new UI is referred to as the Fast Emergency Dialer and appears to be aptly named for its speed and ease of use.

Mockup for Pixel Fast Emergency Dialer

(Image credit: Mishaal Rahman)

Mishaal Rahman, the senior technical editor at Esper, created a mockup based on the description of the new feature utilizing Google's Material You style. This mockup is based on a test build of Android 12 from last Summer that had a fast emergency dialer but didn't make the cut for the release version of Android 12 in October 2021.

Google normally uses its Pixel line of phones to test new features like earthquake detection alerts, which it then rolls out to other Android phones after a period of time.

Google has long outfitted its Pixel phones with a number of health and safety features that aren't always available on even some of the best Android phones. Call screening, for instance, remains a Pixel-exclusive feature even though it's been around for several years.

Nicholas Sutrich
Senior Content Producer — Smartphones
Nick started with DOS and NES and uses those fond memories of floppy disks and cartridges to fuel his opinions on modern tech. Whether it's VR, smart home gadgets, or something else that beeps and boops, he's been writing about it since 2011. Reach him on Twitter or Instagram @Gwanatu