Google Play Services prepares to show earthquake alerts in California powered by ShakeAlert

Google Play Services prepares to show earthquake alerts in California powered by ShakeAlert

With the Third Pixel Feature Drop at the beginning of June, Google added a bunch of new features to Android 10 on Pixel devices. Among these, Google added some improvements to the Personal Safety app by extending the Crash Detection feature from Pixel 4/4XL to Pixel 3 series and adding two new features – “Safety Check” to keep emergency contacts updated about your whereabouts if you don’t respond to scheduled check-ins and “Crisis Alerts” to inform you of natural disasters in your area.

Although Crisis Alerts are not for any specific type of natural calamity, Google is preparing to add an alert mechanism specifically for earthquakes. We spotted references in the Google Play Services 20.26.12 beta that the company added for earthquake alerts specifically in California. These alerts are powered by ShakeAlert, a service that provides early warnings about earthquakes specifically for the West Coast.


An APK teardown can often predict features that may arrive in a future update of an application, but it is possible that any of the features we mention here may not make it in a future release. This is because these features are currently unimplemented in the live build and may be pulled at any time by Google in a future build.

In an APK teardown of the Google Play Services 20.26.12 beta, we found the following strings hinting towards the features and its applications:

<string name="about">About</string>\n<string name="about_details">Earthquake alerts and info are provided by Google &amp; ShakeAlert®.</string>\n<string name="about_details_link">Learn more or change settings</string>\n<string name="demo_take_action_title">Earthquake Demo</string>\n<string name="distance_to_epicenter_km">%.1f km away</string>\n<string name="distance_to_epicenter_mile">%.1f miles away</string>\n<string name="google_setting_eew_nearby_notification">Earthquake Nearby Notification</string>\n<string name="google_setting_eew_occurred_notification">Earthquake Occurred Notification</string>\n<string name="google_setting_take_action">Take action alert</string>\n<string name="google_setting_take_action_delay">Take action alert after 3 minutes</string>\n<string name="local_map_source">Source: ShakeAlert®</string>\n<string name="quake_notification_high_importance_channel_name">Earthquake Early Warning Alert</string>\n<string name="quake_notification_low_importance_channel_name">Earthquake Early Warning Updates</string>\n<string name="ealert_activity_debug_google_setting_title">EEW System Debug</string>\n<string name="ealert_latest_update_search_word">earthquake near me</string>\n<string name="ealert_local_map_magnitude">Est. mag %.1f earthquake</string>\n<string name="ealert_more_safety_tips">More safety tips</string>\n<string name="ealert_nearby_notification_text" formatted="false">Expect shaking. Estimated magnitude %.1f about %s away.</string>\n<string name="ealert_notification_nearby">Earthquake nearby</string>\n<string name="ealert_notification_occurred">Earthquake occurred nearby</string>\n<string name="ealert_notification_sender">Google - ShakeAlert®</string>\n<string name="ealert_occurred_notification_text" formatted="false">Estimated magnitude %.1f about %s away. Tap to learn more.</string>\n<string name="ealert_safety_demo">See a demo</string>\n<string name="ealert_safety_info_label">Earthquake safety info</string>\n<string name="ealert_safety_tip_content_1">Identify hazards and secure movable items</string>\n<string name="ealert_safety_tip_content_10">If you live in a coastal area, relocate as soon as shaking stops to avoid tsunamis</string>\n<string name="ealert_safety_tip_content_11">" "<li>"Don't touch downed or damaged utility lines"</li>"\n"<li>"Don't use a damaged chimney. Approach downed or damaged chimneys with caution"</li>" "</string>\n<string name="ealert_safety_tip_content_12">You may receive an alert if an aftershock is expected</string>\n<string name="ealert_safety_tip_content_2">Create a disaster plan and decide how you will communicate in an emergency</string>\n<string name="ealert_safety_tip_content_3">Put supplies in convenient locations</string>\n<string name="ealert_safety_tip_content_4">Organize important documents, fix any structural issues on your property, and consider insurance</string>\n<string name="ealert_safety_tip_content_5">During an earthquake, take cover under a table and hold on</string>\n<string name="ealert_safety_tip_content_6">Evacuate if you smell gas or see building damage, help the injured, and stay away from anything that may fall</string>\n<string name="ealert_safety_tip_content_7">Reach out to others, take pictures of any damage, and contact your insurance</string>\n<string name="ealert_safety_tip_content_8">If water is shut off, use emergency supplies like a water heater or melted ice cubes</string>\n<string name="ealert_safety_tip_content_9">" "<li>"Put out small fires. If you can't, evacuate."</li>"\n"<li>Check electric, water lines, and appliances for damage. If you see a broken line, shut off the main valve.</li>"\n"<li>Clean up spilled medicines, drugs, or other harmful materials</li>" "</string>\n<string name="ealert_safety_tip_page_subtitle">Source: Earthquake Country Alliance</string>\n<string name="ealert_safety_tip_page_title">Earthquake safety steps</string>\n<string name="ealert_safety_tip_title_1">1. Secure your space</string>\n<string name="ealert_safety_tip_title_10">Move to higher ground</string>\n<string name="ealert_safety_tip_title_11">Avoid fallen objects</string>\n<string name="ealert_safety_tip_title_12">Expect aftershocks</string>\n<string name="ealert_safety_tip_title_2">2. Make a plan</string>\n<string name="ealert_safety_tip_title_3">3. Organize disaster supplies</string>\n<string name="ealert_safety_tip_title_4">4. Minimize financial hardship</string>\n<string name="ealert_safety_tip_title_5">5. Drop, cover, and hold on</string>\n<string name="ealert_safety_tip_title_6">6. Act quickly and cautiously</string>\n<string name="ealert_safety_tip_title_7">7. Reconnect and restore</string>\n<string name="ealert_safety_tip_title_8">Get your emergency supplies</string>\n<string name="ealert_safety_tip_title_9">Use caution when cleaning up</string>\n<string name="ealert_safety_tips_title">Learn earthquake safety tips</string>\n<string name="ealert_settings_detected_text">"You'll get an alert with the estimated magnitude and distance from your location"</string>\n<string name="ealert_settings_detected_title">When an earthquake is detected nearby</string>\n<string name="ealert_settings_how_it_works_body_2_text">"Keep in mind:\n"<li>Not all earthquakes can be detected</li>"\n"<li>Magnitude and shaking intensity estimates may have errors</li>"\n"<li>You may receive an alert before, during, or after shaking begins</li>"\n"</string>\n<string name="ealert_settings_how_it_works_body_text">Android uses your approximate location to send information about nearby earthquakes. Earthquakes are detected by ShakeAlert®.</string>\n<string name="ealert_settings_how_it_works_title">How it works</string>\n<string name="ealert_stay_safer_content_1">Before going anywhere, even to the next room</string>\n<string name="ealert_stay_safer_content_2">"If you smell gas, turn off the gas main to the building. If you can't, evacuate."</string>\n<string name="ealert_stay_safer_content_3">Check for cracks and damage. Evacuate if it looks like the building may collapse.</string>\n<string name="ealert_stay_safer_title">Stay safer after an earthquake</string>\n<string name="ealert_stay_safer_title_1">Get shoes</string>\n<string name="ealert_stay_safer_title_2">Check gas</string>\n<string name="ealert_stay_safer_title_3">Avoid damaged buildings</string>\n<string name="ealert_take_action_cover">Cover</string>\n<string name="ealert_take_action_drop">Drop</string>\n<string name="ealert_take_action_hold">Hold</string>\n<string name="ealert_take_action_magnitude">Estimated magnitude %.1f</string>\n<string name="ealert_take_action_next_steps">Tap for next steps</string>\n<string name="ealert_take_action_source">Google alert powered by ShakeAlert®</string>\n<string name="ealert_take_action_title">Earthquake</string>\n<string name="eew_share_link">Share</string>\n<string name="eew_update_link">See latest updates</string>

The earthquake warning feature should share details including your distance from the epicenter, share tips on how to keep you safe as well as action points to follow in case you need to evacuate the premises.

Personal Safety
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free

About author

Tushar Mehta
Tushar Mehta

I am a Senior Editor at XDA. I have been reviewing gadgets for over five years and gained experience by working for prominent tech publications in India before joining XDA. I enjoy fiddling with all smart objects and my love for software customization dates back to the Symbian S60 days. I like to devote my spare time idealizing the romantic union of technology and philosophy or spacing out on Pink Floyd. You may email me at [email protected]

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