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. Read More
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. Read More
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. Read More
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
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
In some emergency situations it might not be practical or possible to make a voice call to 911, but starting today, you might have another option. It took a bit of wrangling with wireless carriers, but the FCC's deadline for having the necessary wireless infrastructure in place is today. That doesn't mean everyone will be able to text 911 yet, but the pieces are in place. 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
Back in December of 2011, the T-Mobile Samsung Vibrant was canned by the CyanogenMod team due to a 911 emergency dialing bug that was considered crucial and unfixable:
We are no longer supporting the Vibrant due to the inability to dial 911. We consider the issues related to this unresolvable without source code from Samsung related to the Radio interface layer and its interactions with the Audio layers and have taken the decision to no longer support this. We apologize for the inconvenience and strongly suggest that Vibrant users use a Samsung ROM due to the 911 issues with any ROMs based on open source code.
If you have a Samsung Vibrant running CyanongenMod, then you probably want to flash a a stock-based ROM double-quick. Why? Because you can't call 911 while running CM on this particular device. Sure, you may not remember the last time you had to call 911 (if ever), but can you imagine what would happen if you were in a situation where you needed to call 911 and couldn't?
For this exact reason, the CM team has decided to drop support for the Vibrant. The issue could be resolved with the radio source from Samsung, so if Sammy ever decided to release this code, there is a chance that CM could pick up support for the Vibrant again. Read More