At-a-Glance Widget Gets Earthquake Alert and Security Check Features

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The At a Glance widget on Pixel phones recently started showing battery and connection information for your Bluetooth devices. It now gets a few more features: seismic alert and safety check. Google announced these features as part of the March 2022 Pixel Feature Drop early last month.

At a glance will now show earthquake alerts

First spotted by 9to5Google, the At a Glance widget gained an “Earthquake Alert” toggle. The attached description states that the widget will display an alert when the device detects an earthquake greater than magnitude 4.5 in your area. The alert should appear on both the home screen and the lock screen. This feature is enabled by default.

As the new report notes, Android OS already has a built-in earthquake alert feature, which also triggers alerts at the same threshold (magnitude 4.5). If it’s available in your region, you can find it in the Security & Emergency section of the Settings app. This feature uses your phone’s accelerometer to detect initial waves and checks them with Google’s earthquake detection servers before sending sound notification alerts. Android also offers a crowdsourced system to detect earthquakes.

In addition to the earthquake alert, the At a Glance widget on Pixel phones also displays the Safety Check countdown timer from the Personal Safety app. If you have the countdown enabled, a timer on the home screen and lock screen will let you check it quickly without having to frequently open the Personal Security app.

Both of these features, along with battery information for connected Bluetooth devices, began rolling out to At a Glance over the past few days. It could still be a while before all Pixel users around the world can see the new toggles. You can check for yourself by long-pressing on the home screen and then selecting “Home settings” from the pop-up menu. Now tap the gear icon to see if any or all of the three new toggles are available to you.

There are more to come

As previously reported, Google announced these new features for the At a Glance widget early last month. At that time, the company also promised a few additional features, including a reminder to turn off alarms if the next day is a public holiday. Although announced as part of the March feature drop, the rollout has just begun. The remaining features should also start appearing soon. We will keep you posted.

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