Google earthquake's detection system for Android has expanded this week to include two extra countries. The Android Earthquake Alerts System is now available in Greece and New Zealand, acting as an early warning systems for Android users.
The initiative launched last August in collaboration with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) for Android users in California, and recently rolled in Oregon. Google says the alert system will be heading to Android users in Washington in May.
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The Android Earthquake Alerts System uses smartphone sensors to detect earthquakes, acting as a mini seismometer. It uses the device's accelerometers to detect "signals that indicate an earthquake might be happening." That data is sent off and combined with that of other users "to form the world’s largest earthquake detection network."
The efficacy of the system is obviously going to depend on how close you are to epicentre. The alerts are much more useful if you're further away, and have time to react. But as an overall system, the data collected by your smartphone is going to help a multitude of people.
New Zealand and Greece are the first countries outside of the US to access the feature. Both join Android users in California and Oregon, who are able to benefit from the detection and alert capabilities of the Android Earthquake Alerts System.
Elsewhere, Google has rolled out a new search feature for those of you looking to book a vacation, post-vaccination. The update keeps you informed of travel restrictions, as well as any relevant COVID-19 information you might need to know. Other useful tidbits include whether you need proof of vaccination, or if you need to isolate once you reach your location.
While normality has yet to resume, you can still take some measure of vacation this year, and the new search features can help make it as stress-free as possible.