Google rolling out Fast Emergency Dialer for Pixel phones
Most countries have multiple emergency numbers available for different situations and departments, but unless you can remember all of those numbers yourself, you have to rely on a primary emergency call center (if one exists in your country) to route your call. Google is now rolling out a new feature to Pixel phones that aims to solve this problem, though it won’t be useful for everyone.
Android Police received confirmation from Google that the company is rolling out a new Fast Emergency Dialer in the Google Phone application on Pixels, which appears when you swipe up from the lock screen and tap ‘Emergency call.’ Pixel phones will then list all the emergency numbers it knows for your area/country, with labels for each. The functionality was in testing for much of last year, but now appears to be rolling out more widely, perhaps as one component of an upcoming March Pixel Feature Drop.
Esper’s Mishaal Rahman showed off the functionality in a screenshot, though only one number is listed for the United States (911). Other countries will presumably show more numbers available — Brazil has separate numbers for medical emergencies, fires, and police, for example. Once you swipe on the number you need, the phone will place the call.
Even though this functionality is more or less just a phone directory, it does follow a trend in recent years for improving how emergency calls are placed and tracked. Most of the United States supports Enhanced 911, which provides the location from your phone to emergency dispatchers. Some countries and regions are also working on texting support for 911 (helpful for deaf/mute/trapped individuals) and improved location support. Smartphones are becoming more and more capable, but unfortunately, few of their abilities can help with emergency situations.