Personal Safety app from Android 11 on the Pixel 4 can be sideloaded to enable car crash detection on older Pixel phones
Android 11 is officially here and the first Developer Preview is now live for the Google Pixel phones. While Google hasn’t made many drastic changes to the UI (yet), there’s still a lot to look forward to in the latest version of Android. We have been busy taking a deep dive at all the new Android 11 features such as scheduled dark mode, Bubbles notifications, Screen Recording toggle and much more. However, there are also some changes that require deeper digging and tinkering to uncover them. One such change we found in Andriod 11 is the new Personal Safety app.
The Personal Safety app version 1.1.286909525 comes preinstalled within Android 11 Developer Preview 1 for the Google Pixel 4. We extracted the APK from the Google Pixel 4 and sideloaded it on some older Pixel phones that we had on our hand — namely, the Pixel 2XL and Pixel 3Xl — and were able to enable car crash detection feature.
Car crash detection was previously only available for the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL in the Personal Safety app. We first learned about this feature back in May of 2019 through an APK teardown that hinted Google was planning to add crash detection to the Pixel phones. Our speculation was confirmed a few months later when Google rebranded the Emergency app to the “Personal Safety” app and the updated app revealed that car crash detection would be made available to Pixel users in the USA.
The car crash detection feature uses your phone’s location, accelerometer sensor, and microphone to automatically detect a car crash. If it thinks you’ve been in a car crash, it will play a loud sound and ask if you need any help. In case of no response, it automatically dials 911 and shares your phone’s location.
Interested Pixel owners can sideload the latest Personal Safety app from the Android 11 to enable car crash detection. However, keep mind that the app won’t work on non-Pixel devices. If you install it on your Pixel and have issues getting past the emergency contact part, make sure to grant the app all the permissions it needs in Settings.