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Google Android Phones To Assist With Earthquake Alerts

Google will now use Android phones to detect earthquakes and alert users.

The first part of that system is rolling out on Tuesday. Android phones running operating system 5.0 and above will pick up certain seismic wave activity and report it to Google. Google will then use that data in search results and directly warn Android users in California.

Google will use the phones' built-in accelerometers, which orient the compass and stargazing apps. Google has collaborated with the United States Geological Survey and California Governor's Office of Emergency Services to send earthquake alerts, powered by ShakeAlert, directly to Android devices in California.

Google will be collecting data from all Android phones worldwide, however, only users in California will get notifications directly to their phones starting Tuesday.

Android users will see the red earthquake alert and the suggestion to "drop, cover, and hold" once Google detects an earthquake.

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