It’s often the case that companies are unable to talk about and highlight each and every feature in a new software update. These additions either slip past under the shadow of more prominent ones or just are not substantial enough to make it to the keynote. I encountered one of such Android features recently while trawling across my phone’s settings. The option is called “emergency information, ” and it was added to stock Android apparently over a year ago with the Nougat release.
The tool lets you feed in your emergency information including crucial health details such as your blood group, allergies, medications, address and contacts to your Android phone. This data can be later accessed from the lock screen directly allowing anyone else like first responders to know about you and whom to contact in a particular situation without the PIN. Usually, in critical scenarios such as road accidents, people either look for some sort of identification or wait until the patient gains consciousness. With the “emergency information” feature, the process can become significantly more swift and effortless especially in potentially fatal states.
The “emergency information” utility, however, is only available for Android phones running Nougat or above. In addition to that, a majority of OEMs have scrapped the option in their respective skins. Phones with stock interfaces from manufacturers such as Motorola, OnePlus, Google come with the functionality, for instance. The details are stored locally, hence you also don’t need to worry about Google somehow misusing it for advertising purposes.
To add your emergency information, head to the settings, tap the “user & accounts” entry and scroll down the bottom. You’ll find an option called “emergency information”, click that and update the fields. That’s about it. These details can now be accessed on the lock screen under the “emergency” option which should appear when you swipe up from the bottom for typing in the PIN.
A native feature for entering your emergency information is undoubtedly a boon. However, its availability on only a handful of devices will never allow it to soar and become a customary protocol in the industry universally. OEMs should certainly consider redoing their software for accommodating this and ditch their proprietary implementation.