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Android 11's Device Drop Monitor app surveys you after your phone falls down
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Android 11 Beta 2 landed a few days ago, but we keep finding new things to share. Mishaal Rahman reports on Twitter that the latest version of the OS comes with a new pre-installed app called Device Drop Monitor. It's supposed to recognize when you drop your phone and records the duration and acceleration using your handset's sensors.
Rahman reports that once you've recovered your (hopefully still fully intact) device after the drop, the app gives you a survey, asking from which height the phone fell, what kind of material it landed on (concrete, asphalt, hardwood, carpet, tile, and more), and if there's a case. It's unclear if there are also questions on the actual damage. The survey ends with this message: "Thanks for taking the survey! Your input will help improve the design on future Pixel devices." That's as clear as it gets — Google is crowd-sourcing data on how sturdy its current phones are in order to improve future products.
The user is given a survey after the app detects the device has been dropped asking the about how far the device fell, what kind of material it landed on (concrete/asphalt/hardwood/carpet/tile/etc.), and whether there's a case on the phone.
— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) July 8, 2020
All that said, I couldn't reproduce the survey when I purposely threw my Pixel 3 on soft surfaces like my couch and the bed. The phone may have managed to notice that it wasn't a severe drop due to the ensuing bouncing, and I won't go ahead and throw it on my hardwood floor for science. It's also possible that the app is only functional for a limited selection of testers right now and might only be meant to go live when Android 11 is official. Mishaal Rahman likely just looked through the app's code to gather the information he provided.
The Device Drop Monitor isn't available on the Play Store (yet), and it is probably only possible to install it on Pixel phones on the latest Android 11 release, where it's pre-installed anyway. But if you'd like to take a peek at the APK, you can do that over at APK Mirror. I'm curious if we're actually going to see some new, sturdier materials in Pixel phones in the future — the Pixel 3a's plastic body is quite charming and more durable than glass.