Google announced a half-dozen update to Android on Tuesday. This includes further deployment of seismic alerts and end-to-end encrypted messages.
The seismic alert was first announced in August and uses a smartphone accelerometer to detect sudden movements of the earth.
When your cell phone detects an earthquake, it sends a signal to Google’s earthquake detection server, along with the location of the course where the quake occurred. The server combines the information received from multiple Android smartphones to determine if an earthquake has occurred.
Ultimately, when an earthquake is detected, the system automatically sends a warning alert to your Android device, allowing people to find covers and safer ground.
The system is already in operation in New Zealand and Greece, with participation from Turkey, the Philippines, Kazakhstan, the Republic of Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
“We are prioritizing issuing earthquake warnings in countries at high risk of earthquakes and hope to issue them in more and more countries next year,” the company said.
Users of the messaging app built into Android may encrypt these messages.
“End-to-end encryption is available for one-on-one conversations between message users with chat enabled,” the company said.
The key symbol at the top of the chat appears to provide visual feedback that the conversation is encrypted.
In November, Google said it would automatically upgrade chat security when possible, but would involve both participants with the RCS chat feature enabled. RCS is not compatible with Apple’s iMessage protocol.
The company offers voice control options that only work when the user is looking at the screen, the ability for users to star messages, and contextual emoji kitchen suggestions for better voice password entry. He said he introduced it.
Android opens earthquake alerts and end-to-end encrypted messages
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