Latest in Gear

Image credit:

Google SOS Alerts can guide you during a crisis

It'll give you crucial information at the moment you need it most.
Jon Fingas, @jonfingas
July 25, 2017
Share
Tweet
Share

Sponsored Links

Google

When you're in the midst of a crisis, your internet search priorities are clearly different than usual: am I in danger? Where can I go for safety? And who do I talk to for help? Google clearly recognizes this, as it's rolling out SOS Alerts in both its web search results and in Maps. Look for a relevant search term or location and you'll get official updates, contact information, a map of the affected area, top stories and translations for useful phrases. If you're browsing the Maps app, you'll see an icon on the map that you can tap to get vital info. And if you're in a perilous location, you may get a notification pointing you to this help.

You don't have to be in harm's way for these alerts to be useful. You'll still get an overview of the situation, and there are opportunities to donate if you want to help.

This isn't the first time Google has incorporated public alerts into its search tools, but the SOS Alerts reflect the mounting importance of the internet in emergency situations. Even a few years ago, you might have turned to radio or TV to get crucial info. Now, the internet may be the first place you go -- even in situations where you're facing very real danger. Google still can't replace government agencies in a crisis, but it can point you in the right direction.

All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.
Comment
Comments
Share
Tweet
Share

Popular on Engadget

Pablo Escobar’s brother is trying to sell refurbished iPhone 11 Pros for $499

Pablo Escobar’s brother is trying to sell refurbished iPhone 11 Pros for $499

View
LG's $1,500 48-inch 4K OLED TV goes on sale next month

LG's $1,500 48-inch 4K OLED TV goes on sale next month

View
Philips Hue leaks show new versatility for Lightstrip Plus and Bloom

Philips Hue leaks show new versatility for Lightstrip Plus and Bloom

View
GeForce Now's new opt-in policy will likely mean a more stable library

GeForce Now's new opt-in policy will likely mean a more stable library

View
SpaceX's first crewed mission to the ISS is scrubbed for today

SpaceX's first crewed mission to the ISS is scrubbed for today

View

From around the web

Page 1Page 1ear iconeye iconFill 23text filevr