This life-saving Google Pixel feature just got tipped for other Android phones

The Google Pixel 6 in Stormy Black, with a thumb on its fingerprint sensor, in front of a white brick background
(Image credit: Future)

Update: iOS 16 Crash Detection accidentally triggered by roller coasters — here’s what we know.

Google Pixel phones have a lot of great features hiding away, including some that you might not even know about. One of the most important is car crash detection, and it might be about to make the jump to other Android phones.

Car crash detection is part of the Pixel Personal Safety app, which is preinstalled on all current Pixel phones. But new strings in the latest version (2022.05.25), as spotted by Mishaal Rahman, include the phrase “nonpixel” — suggesting this Pixel-exclusive feature may not be exclusive for long.

Car Crash Detection isn’t necessarily the type of feature that would make you swap phones. But such an addition could be the difference between life and death. The consequences of being in a car crash could easily mean you’re not in a position to call for help. 

If the feature is switched on, and the phone detects a crash, the Pixel will vibrate and sound an alarm at full volume asking if you need help. If you don’t respond, it will automatically call 911 with your location and whatever data it detected about the crash.

The fact your phone can do this for you, without your input, means first responders can get to you much faster than it otherwise would. Not only does that mean you can get any injuries treated much sooner, it also lessens your risk of succumbing to the elements.

Apple is said to be working on a similar feature for iOS, and various in-car services like OnStar offer some sort of crash detection. Having it expand to other Android devices would be a win for drivers everywhere. Just a little bit more security and peace of mind, should the worst ever happen.

That’s not all the Pixel personal Safety app can do. It can also be used to warn you of natural disasters, list emergency contacts, offer essential medical information like blood type or allergies, and can enable a user-activated Emergency SOS. 

However, as Rahman notes, the app probably won’t be pushed to all non-Pixel devices at the same time. Instead it’s likely to roll out to certain devices first, likely popular brands like Samsung or those part of the Android One program like Nokia. 

It could also be that Google gives manufacturers the option to include it at their discretion. This is assuming it’s not rolled out as an essential component of a future version of Android.

Tom Pritchard
UK Phones Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's UK Phones Editor, tackling the latest smartphone news and vocally expressing his opinions about upcoming features or changes. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining about how terrible his Smart TV is.