Google will detect earthquakes via Android phones in more countries

Google has rolled out an alert system that uses people's Android phones to detect earthquakes in more countries. After the United States, Greece and New Zealand, Turkey, the Philippines, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan have now been added . More countries will follow later this year.

The Android Earthquake Alerts System uses the accelerometer present in a smartphone. According to Google, this sensor turns phones into a mini seismograph. The accelerometer can detect vibrations that could indicate an earthquake. When the Android device suspects an earthquake, a signal is sent to a Google server, as well as the location where the vibration was detected.

The server then combines the information from all the phones to determine if an earthquake is in progress. When this is the case, Google can warn users. Users are warned when they search on Google for the term "Earthquake near me". In addition, Android users in the aforementioned countries will automatically receive earthquake alerts in their area. Users who do not want to receive the notifications can disable them via the settings menu.

Google hopes to build the largest earthquake detection network in the world by collecting the information from millions of Android phones. The tech company plans to use the "Android-based earthquake detection" in more countries in the future, giving priority to countries with a higher earthquake risk. The feature will be installed on almost all Android devices via Google Play Services and can be switched on or off via Location Services.

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