Android users in Ukraine are to receive warnings of air strikes directly to their smartphones in the future. Google announced this in an official statement. The company wants to work closely with the Ukrainian government to introduce a corresponding warning system, it said.
In an updated blog post, Google announced on Thursday, March 10, 2022, that it will warn Android users in Ukraine directly about air strikes in the future. Users who were in the vicinity of expected attacks should receive a corresponding warning on their smartphone.
The U.S. company also announced that it wants to work closely with the Ukrainian government to develop a corresponding warning system. The developer community XDA-Developers already became aware of the feature before the official statement.
Google wants to integrate air raid warnings into its Play services
In the original blog post from March 4, Google Play Store users in Ukraine had initially still been recommended the warning app “Ukrainian Alarm” from the security company Ajax Systems. In the Play Store, the group also highlighted the application accordingly.
However, in an update, Google now announced that the company was working on its own alert system that would deliver warning directly through the application interfaces (APIs) of Play services.
“Tragically, millions of people in Ukraine are now relying on air raid alerts to keep them safe,” Google said in the announcement. The Android pings are said to be based on warnings from the Ukrainian government.
New warning system to launch immediately
According to Dave Burke, vice president of engineering for Android, a system designed to quickly warn of earthquakes will derive the air attack alerts accordingly.
The rollout of the new alert system starts immediately and should be available to all Android users in Ukraine in the coming days. Google has already partially blocked its service in Russia in response to the war in Ukraine.
For example, the U.S. company has restricted all payment-based services for Google Play and subsidiary YouTube within Russia. The apps of some state news channels such as RT and Sputnik were removed from the Play Store in Europe.