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Google introduces Emergency SOS feature for Wear OS

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Google will soon start rolling out an Emergency SOS feature on Wear OS. It will work in the same way as on Android smartphones and will allow users to easily contact their family members or the government directly via their smartwatch in an emergency.

Amid the many exciting hardware announcements that took place at the I/O 2022 keynote event, it’s easy to see how some less flashy software tweaks can stay under the radar. Nevertheless, even if an Emergency SOS feature for Wear OS isn’t particularly exciting, it’s no less important than that Pixel everyone is talking about.

Emergency SOS in Android is by no means a new concept. Almost every smartphone has its equivalent of such an option. What’s new is that this feature will now also be available for wearables with Wear OS. On Android phones, the user has to press the power button 5 times in a row to activate Emergency SOS. It’s not clear how the feature can be activated in Wear OS, but a similar shortcut, using a voice command as an alternative method, sounds likely. Emergency SOS for Wear OS works the same way as for Android. To enable it, the user must start by filling in the necessary contact details. Only when this is done will they have the option to activate Emergency SOS. It is important to note that as this is ultimately a smartwatch feature, in order for the wearable to be used it must be paired with a smartphone with cellular connectivity, if the wearable does not support LTE.

If you enable emergency SOS, users must select who they want to contact (a specific contact or directly the emergency services). They can easily cancel the call via a large red button on the watch’s main screen, and additional options will be provided once the call has ended.

It is not yet clear when this feature will make its debut. Apple has already implemented a similar option in the Apple Watch. Based on Google’s track record, it may take a while for Emergency SOS to make its way to Wear OS. At least we know it’s coming.

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