Calling emergency numbers should be as simple as possible. In many countries, though, you have to remember several numbers, and most people end up forgetting them until they really need them. Android is now removing the guessing game out of this potentially life-or-death situation by making sure you can always reach the emergency service you need.

A new emergency call screen is replacing the simple dialpad and shortcut to your emergency information with several sliders. The top one lets you access your personal emergency info, as before, but the ones below it are automatically picked based on your location. In France, I get the ambulance, police, and fire numbers, as well as the do-all 112 number. In Brazil, our tipster Eduardo got sliders for 190, 192, and 193, which correspond to the police, ambulance, and fire, respectively. To call any of these numbers, you drag the slider from the left to the right of the screen. If you'd rather dial another number, you can still open the dialpad.

Left: Android 11Middle & Right: Android 12.

We're not exactly sure what's triggering this change, but it seems to be Android 12-only. It might have rolled out with Beta 3 a couple of weeks ago or it could be a server-side update reaching the Personal Safety app, to accompany the UI change we saw last month. What I know for sure is that around July 10-14, I was using my phone extensively and I triggered the emergency screen by mistake multiple times. I was still shown the old design then, even though I was running Android 12 Beta 2 on my Pixel 5. Now, I see the new design there. My Pixel 4, which is still running Android 11 doesn't have it yet.

  • Thanks:
  • Eduardo