Google adds emergency location service to Android

When an emergency arises, getting your location to dispatchers can be the difference between life and death. That isn’t always the easiest thing to do, especially if you’re injured or you don’t know where you are. With the significant majority of emergency calls coming from mobile phones, finding a caller’s location by using cell towers or GPS isn’t the most reliable solution, so Google  is rolling out a new Android feature called Emergency Location Services to help with the issue.


When you call in an emergency (with this service active) your location will automatically be transmitted directly to first responders (without passing through Google). It can use GPS, network, and WiFi location for the most accurate reading.


This feature is being deployed as part of Google Play Services, so you won’t need to do anything to enable it. It will, however, require proper carrier and emergency services support. That’s why it’s only in the UK and Estonia right now. Google says it wants to expand the Emergency Location Service to more regions later. Over 99% of Android devices are theoretically able to support this feature via Play Services (The best part is that Emergency Location Services is compatible with 99% of the Android handsets out there, as it only requires Android 2.3 to run i.e. Gingerbread and up), but carriers and emergency services need to work with Google before it can expand to more markets.