Google is rolling out a new update via Google Play Services that can alert people when there is an active airstrike. The alert will notify people to take cover and get to safety. Google implemented the airstrike alert system at the request of the Ukrainian government, and the feature is already rolling out to all Android devices.
Google announced in a blog post that it has already started rolling out an airstrike alert system that lets people get notified on their phones. The new alert system is “supplemental to the country’s existing air raid alert systems”, and it will be based on alerts that the Ukrainian government is already delivering to protect civilians.
“Tragically, millions of people in Ukraine now rely on air strike alerts to try to get to safety. At the request, and with the help, of the government of Ukraine, we've started rolling out a rapid Air Raid Alerts system for Android phones in Ukraine. This work is supplemental to the country's existing air raid alert systems, and based on alerts already being delivered by the Ukrainian government.”
Dave Burke, VP of Engineering at Google and Android, has revealed that the new alert system uses the same low latency and alert mechanism that is also used to detect earthquakes. Burke also shared that the new system “shares the same triggers used for, the country’s existing air raid alert systems.”
Google also pledged millions of dollars to help those affected by the way, and it will make further investments in Poland to support those in-need. The blog post also states that Google – alongside most companies from the west and Europe – has paused ads in Russia and paused “the vast majority of our commercial activities.”