To assist Ukraine, Google rolls out “Air Raid Alerts” system for Android

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A cartoony version of the Ukrainian flag.
Enlarge / Google’s Doodle for Ukraine Independence Day 2018.

Smartphone-based air raid alerts are one of many many terrible information of life in Ukraine proper now. Whereas the Ukrainian authorities has an air raid warning system that at present runs by means of a third-party app, Google is taking it upon itself to construct an “Air Raid Alerts” system straight into Android. The corporate outlined the choice on the Google Weblog:

Tragically, hundreds of thousands of individuals in Ukraine now depend on air strike alerts to attempt to get to security. On the request, and with the assistance, of the federal government of Ukraine, we have began rolling out a speedy Air Raid Alerts system for Android telephones in Ukraine. This work is supplemental to the nation’s present air raid alert programs, and based mostly on alerts already being delivered by the Ukrainian authorities.

Google is rolling out the function by way of Google Play Providers, which suggests it ought to work for almost each Android cellphone. Whereas Android OS updates are infamously rolled out to solely a single-digit proportion of customers in a 12 months, Google Play Providers updates by means of the Play Retailer, so an replace will occur for everybody as quickly as their cellphone checks for app updates.

Android VP of Engineering Dave Burke introduced the brand new function on Twitter, saying the alerts use the identical low-latency alert system the Android group designed for Android’s earthquake detection. Whereas the Earthquake detection system can spawn an earthquake alert of its personal by crowdsourcing the accelerometer information from hundreds of thousands of Android telephones, Google is not detecting air raids. As an alternative, the corporate is simply constructing a shopper for the federal government’s alert system.

Burke says, “The system begins rolling out immediately and can ramp as much as goal all Android telephones in Ukraine over the following few days. Grateful to our eng/product/UX groups for racing to get to a [solution] in brief order.”





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