Google has added a new Emergency SOS feature to Android 12. After turning it on, five quick presses of the power button will launch a countdown to call 911, or presumably your local emergency services. The number to call for help can be changed, but note that changing it from the default will require your phone to be unlocked in order to work. The countdown tells you to "stay calm" and gives five seconds to cancel with a swipe.

The feature resembles the iOS feature of the same name that uses a long-press of the power button, but it does not seem to be integrated with the Pixel's Personal Safety app here e.g. to show medical information or other emergency contacts.

iOS Emergency SOS screen

The shortcut could also dash hopes of a faster way to trigger Android's Lockdown mode unless Google finds a way to integrate both features—we'll have to see what comes in future Android 12 developer previews. Regardless, it's a welcome addition that could make getting help easier in situations where looking at your phone's screen is either impractical or dangerous.

For more about the Android 12 launch, check out our announcement post detailing what's new here. If you want to install the developer preview on your own device, find out how in our Android 12 download guide.