Apparently if you call an emergency number from your Android device, you can't block calls for the next 48 hours.
We don't know why this is the case, though we imagine it may be to prevent you from blocking your local police department or other emergency personnel. Read More
Shortly after ISIS-affiliated gunmen killed over a hundred people in multiple attacks in Paris on Friday evening, Google allowed users of its Hangouts chat platform to make free VOIP calls to France from anywhere. Later this weekend American telecom companies have followed suit. Carriers Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint are allowing their customers to call French telephone numbers without incurring international calling charges, and Skype is allowing free SkypeOut (VOIP-to-standard phone number) calls into France. Read More
After a series of shootings and explosions occurred in Paris Friday evening, Google has made calls to France via its Hangouts service temporarily free. Callers can use the Hangouts app on Android, iOS, and the web to place calls to the country without incurring the normal international charges. The Google+ post making the announcement did not specify any particular countries, so presumably free calls are available from any location where Hangouts can be used. It's not clear if Google Voice users are also being given free calls. Read More
This feature has taken us a long time to confirm, readers - sorry about that. Testing it would have required us to call 9-1-1 for the sole purpose of testing out a neat new tool on a smartphone, and aside from being extremely illegal, none of us wanted to explain to a hard-working emergency dispatcher that we were using a vital service to write up a blog post. And on that note, please, please don't test out this feature on your own Android M preview build. We're only sharing a screenshot sent in to us by a reader which we assume was taken during an actual emergency. Read More
Cheap USB car chargers are a dime a dozen, even ones with enough ports to charge two devices at once. But this dual-USB (2.1A + 1A) charger from Elivebuy stands out, and it's not because this is the fastest charger of the bunch. It caught our attention because it just might save your life, and it will do it for six bucks if you go to Amazon and enter the coupon code Q626JPAD at checkout.
The charger in question comes with a glass hammer that can be used to shatter windows during an emergency. It also comes with LED lights that can provide illumination in the darkness or serve as hazard warnings. Read More
Most of the apps from the American Red Cross are intended for use during emergencies, but the organization's latest one, titled simply "Emergency," still manages to bring something new to the table. It consolidates all of your alerts in one place. So when some sort of weather event is going down and Google hasn't yet buzzed your phone, you know where to look. Read More
Update: according to this post by Punit Soni, the app is indeed exclusive to the Moto E for the time being. Other Motorola phones (Moto G, Moto X, and the Droids) will get access to Alert at some point.
My grandmother is 76 years old, and I've finally convinced her that taking her ancient RAZR V3 cell phone on the tractor when she mows the pasture is a good idea. Not because she actually uses it, but because the thought of her having to walk across 80 acres of snake-infested coastal when something goes wrong is a sobering one. Motorola knows the practical use of a cell phone in an emergency, and is augmenting it with a new app. Read More
Emergency care for cats and dogs is incredibly varied and requires years of learning and practice. But basic first aid is pretty much the same as it is for people, minus a few pounds and plus a little fur. So if your pet has an injury or mild illness you might be able to take care of it yourself, or at least mitigate further injury until you get to a veterinarian. Enter the Pet First Aid app from the American Red Cross.
This app isn't quite so vital as the previous disaster-focused apps from the Red Cross, if only because of its subject matter, but it could be very helpful in a stressful situation. Read More
We may have managed to survive 2012 without the world coming to an end, but you can't really say the same for the poor folks in 'EMERGENCY'.
Gamers on iOS have been able to battle against plane crashes, train crashes, meteor impacts and terrorists for a while now, and the popular game has finally made its way over to the Play Store to allow Android users to get in on the action as well.
As Head of Operations, EMERGENCY throws 13 disaster scenarios at you, each of which you must fight during missions, with 18 units at your disposal. The game has already topped the charts on the iOS App Store, so it will be interesting to see how it fares on Android with the $3.99 price tag. Read More
With all the cool, fun things our mobile devices can do—from looking up movie info, to games, to social networking, to being amazing cameras—we can sometimes forget that these devices can be valuable and necessary tools. This new app, First Aid - American Red Cross, reminds us to use our phones for important, potentially life-saving purposes, as well as for fun.
There's really no reason everyone shouldn't have this app installed. The app has information on how to deal with a variety of first aid scenarios, including burns, choking, bleeding, head injury, poison, and strokes, among many others. The app has information and guides, as well as quizzes and tests to see how much you've learned. Read More