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Android phones just got an update that could save your life

Android phones just got an update that could save your life

You'll likely want to enable this clever feature.

Android has added a potentially life-changing feature to its latest update.

Google has teamed up with intelligent safety platform RapidSOS, meaning you can share medical information and emergency contacts with first responders when they need it.

This can happen automatically, all through your phone. Essentially, this means that if you're unable to communicate with 911, information that might help them treat you is readily available.

Drew Angerer / Staff / Getty

It comes as part of Android's Emergency Location Service (ELS), which was created to 'quickly send more accurate location and, in some regions, contextual information to emergency services when a user calls or texts an emergency number'.

That service is already powered by RapidSOS, and in a blog post the company said: "We are expanding our support for Android ELS to allow emergency responders using RapidSOS to get critical medical info and emergency contact data sent directly from Android devices.

"Depending on what users share, this information may include caller name, allergies, medications, preexisting conditions, emergency contacts, and more."

To make sure this service is available for you, you'll need to be in America and have Android 12 or later installed. If you don't want it, no need to fret - you need to manually opt in to have access to it.

If you did want this new, potentially life-saving update, head to the Personal Safety app - which is automatically downloaded on newer Pixel devices - if you have anything older than the Pixel 4a, you'll have to download it yourself. If you have a Samsung device, have a look and see if you can download the Google Personal Safety app.

Drew Angerer / Staff / Getty

When you're there, open up 'Your info', then go to 'Emergency info access' and tap 'Share during emergency call'.

This means that if you call or text 911 in a region that supports the service, RapidSOS says: "The users’ information may be shared directly with first responders and displayed in RapidSOS alongside other information about the call."

It could be a game-changer if you (heaven forbid) find yourself in an unfortunate situation - and a first responder has already given it a thumbs up.

“This is when your smartphone becomes smart. This is when the information you put inside your phone becomes useful to 911. This information can be life-saving” said Tenea Reddick, ECC Director at Baltimore City Fire Department.

“This information is available to use before the dispatch, and before the responders arrive. It saves so much time because we already know what we’re responding to and what we need."

Featured Image Credit: Credit: SOPA Images / Contributor / Ivan-balvan /Getty