Google Rolls out Air Raid Siren Alert System to Android Phones in Ukraine

Google Rolls out Air Raid Siren Alert System to Android Phones in Ukraine

As Ukrainian people are subjected to “indiscriminate” bombings and shelling in urban areas, it has become commonplace to worry that their homes would be destroyed without warning. Residents take cover in subterranean bunkers and subway stations to avoid the blasts, as reported in an interview with British TV network ITV’s Good Morning Britain broadcast, where the correspondent describes it as the “soundtrack to daily life” in Ukraine at the moment. Google is currently implementing an “Air Raid Alerts” system directly into Android handsets to augment the government’s existing alert system, which relies on a third-party app, in an effort to avoid civilian fatalities in any manner possible.

“Unfortunately, millions of civilians in Ukraine are now relying on-air attack warnings to get to safety. We’ve begun rolling out a quick Air Raid Alerts system for Android phones in Ukraine, at the request and with the assistance of the Ukrainian government. “This effort complements the country’s existing air raid alarm systems and is based on notifications already given by the Ukrainian government,” Google wrote in a blog post. Other methods the corporation plans to aid with the refugee and civilian crises include a system that will alert services that are assisting refugees and people escaping the invasion, as well as investments in non-governmental groups in Poland.

Businesses who provide refugee services may now add their Business Profile to Google Search and Maps to advertise any assistance they provide. The air raid alarm system, which is accessible today via Google Play Services, will be available to practically all Android phones that currently have Google integration and will employ a similar alert mechanism to that used by Android phones for earthquake notifications. It will also function with the Ukrainian government’s warning system, but it will no longer require the installation of third-party applications, increasing the system’s potential effect.

Android VP of Engineering Dave Burke tweeted, “The system uses our low latency warning mechanism we designed for seismic notifications.” “The air raid system is a complement to the country’s current air raid alarm systems, and it uses the same triggers.” Google has joined a wave of other Western technology companies in reducing or discontinuing sales and software support in Russia. Google and its parent business Alphabet, as one of the world’s largest companies, have dramatically decreased Google and YouTube services, as well as restricted adverts and payment-based services. 

In Ukraine, Google also halted user-submitted Google Maps services, citing concerns that it was tipping Russian soldiers to the positions of civilians and Ukrainian armed personnel. In Russia, free services such as Google and YouTube will continue to operate, but commercial services will be suspended.