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How to enable car crash detection and 911 dialing on the Pixel 4

A hallmark feature of the Pixel 4 is its ability to detect car crashes and call 911 for you (only in the US). This smart option can potentially save many lives, but it's not enabled by default on the device. Here's how you can turn it on.

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Pixel phones gaining ability to talk to 911 operators, even when you're not able to

We saw it hinted in an APK Teardown, now, Google has announced a new emergency calling feature for the Phone app that will come to a select number of Android devices, including Pixels. It will let users indicate if they need police, fire, or medical assistance without the need to physically say so. The company envisions this new feature to be essential in situations where the caller isn't able or might not want to talk.

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Google Voice now supports calling emergency services, but only for businesses and schools

One of the major limitations of Google Voice since its inception is that you can't call 911 or other emergency service numbers. Most VoIP services share this problem, since it's usually impossible for responders to obtain your exact location. Google is working on addressing this, but not for regular users.

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Android phones in the US can now provide accurate location data directly to emergency services

The location-finding capabilities of US emergency services are woefully inadequate, this much is known. What makes it all the more tragically ironic is that the very devices most often used to call 911 — smartphones — contain exceedingly accurate location data. How hard could it be to use that data for such an important purpose? Hard enough that it took Google until just now to expand its faster, more accurate Emergency Location Service (ELS) to the US. But, hey, at least it's finally here, and Google reports that it's already saving lives.

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Fossil 4th generation smartwatches get discreet emergency alert feature from Noonlight

One of the no-brainer use cases for smartwatches is providing users with an easy way to call for help, and yet in many cases it's a multi-step process that requires an accompanying phone. Fossil is planning to address this gap in the market by partnering with digital safety platform Noonlight to integrate a discreet 911 alert button on its fourth generation smartwatches. The application will come pre-installed (and at no extra cost) on the new Wear OS-powered Fossil smartwatches. Meanwhile, those that have already shipped will receive an update rolling out soon.

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Uber now has a panic button in the US

Safety is a major concern of ridesharing services such as Uber and Lyft. In an attempt to make its riders feel more secure, Uber has added a direct method to call 911 via its app in the US. The company has tested the function out in India, but it's now live for everyone stateside. Additionally, these 911 calls will come with location tracking in select markets. These are both part of new Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi's initiative to improve the company's safety record.

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Google aims to make 911 call locations more accurate

When you call 911 from a landline phone, that number is tied to a physical address. It's easy for emergency responders to get to the right place. However, cell phones can be anywhere, and the carrier-based location reports sent to call centers are not always good enough. Google is working on a system that would provide faster, more accurate locations to 911 operators, and its first test reportedly went well.

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[Update: It's live] OnePlus 5's 911 rebooting issue will be addressed in a software update soon

If you've ever been involved in an emergency in which you've had to call 911, chances are that you were overwhelmed by feelings of panic. While that may be a normal human reaction, one can only hope that the smartphone that's being used to dial 911 doesn't exhibit the same panicked nature as its owner in this critical time. The OnePlus 5 had a bit of an issue with this, but OnePlus is now saying that an update to fix this will be coming soon.

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Some OnePlus 5 owners report the phone reboots if you call 911

The OnePlus 5 offers a lot of features you don't usually see in a phone that costs under $500 like a dual camera, lightning fast fingerprint sensor, and a Snapdragon 835 SoC. However, owners of this phone say it may not be so good at one very basic and important feature—calling 911. Apparently the OnePlus 5 might reboot if you dial emergency services, which is a pretty serious problem.

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Call Blocking Is Now Automatically Disabled For 48 Hours After You Call An Emergency Number

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.

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