Emergency Info comes to your lockscreen [Diving into Android N]

by: Andrew GrushMarch 9, 2016


While stuff like improved multi-tasking and enhanced doze mode are certainly making the headlines as far as ‘key’ Android N features are concerned, there are likely tons of ‘little things’ just hiding under the surface that might not revolutionize your mobile experience, but still manages to make things just that little bit sweeter. That’s exactly the category Android N’s “Emergency Info” feature falls into.

Note: Be sure to check out our Diving Into Android N series for more coverage!

Simply put, if you end up in an ambulance or emergency room and can’t speak for yourself, your phone could end up ‘speaking’ for you thanks to a new feature that lets you specific information about yourself including your blood type, known allergies, if you’re an organ donor, your date of birth, name, and your address.

While these might not be things that you want to fall into “just anybody’s hands”, they could prove invaluable if you are incapacitated and an emergency service doesn’t know who to contact on your behalf.

Of course, this feature is only useful if an emergency service (doctor, ambulance, nurse, etc) knows to look, and so it’s unfortunate that the feature is a bit buried. In order to access it, someone would have to grab your phone, attempt to unlock it, notice you have a password/pin, and then hit the “emergency” key. From there, you’ll find a tab that says “Emergency Info”. That’s a lot of steps.

As for setting the feature up to begin with? That’s actually a lot easier. The new feature is found under “Users” in settings. You’ll then be presented with a little form and you’ll be able to pick and choose how much information to disclose.

What do you think of the emergency info option on Android N? What could Google have done to make this information a bit more obvious for an emergency service provider? Let us know your thoughts in the comments.

  • Colton Blumhagen

    Can somebody who is a paramedic/doctor/nurse tell me if you guys actually would look for that? I know paramedics look for medical bracelets.

    • Andrew Grush

      I honestly doubt they would. If it was on the very first ‘page’ maybe. It’s a nice idea though.

      • Who’s to say they can’t start doing that? If the word spreads that Android phones support this feature now, it’s possible they will start doing it, no?

  • Tanmoy Roy

    Where is Real Racing 3…I think it should be included too

  • One way to get medical staff to know about this is by announcing it everywhere in whatever way they can. Be a feature highlight when talking about N, make ads that also briefly mention it, etc. It can’t stay as an obscure feature only a few peoole ever find cuz they like exploring the Settings menu. To add to this, they could make it blatantly obvious that there is medical information right on the lock screen. Something like “Emergency Info” at the top of the screen. Tapping it would bring up this information.

  • Pete Ramsey

    Ok google emergency info may be an easier way to do it

  • Ram

    Ok is he emergency number configurable according to different countries? In India, its 100/108 but we are not able to dial this during emergency. Is his bug rectified? It accepts only 911/112 which I assume is for u.s.a. I feel this is a major issue.

  • AndraZ

    In the time of dumb phones that weren’t usually locked with PIN we had ICE (In Case of Emergency) phone numbers in our contacts that paramedic could look up and call selected family member or friend. I think this was pretty well known. And since locked smartphones become popular I always wondered what can be done so ICE numbers would still be available. I support this idea, but it could be more obvious to find, at least the most urgent info (like ICE numbers).

    • Teun Buss

      I just put two ICE numbers under ‘owner info’ so they always show on my lockscreen, the obvious downside being you can’t actually use my phone to call them without unlocking it, but it’s better than nothing.

      • Blusole

        I recently changed form nexus to Xperia (don’t know yet if it was a good move) and I found a built in ICE. It’s also available only if you try to unlock it but I can add contacts with my health information. Moreover I can allow (or not) these contacts to be called form the lockscreen without the phone being unlocked. Pretty cool and as N is still in preview maybe Google can improve that?

  • aaloo

    Welcome android, to 2013 :)

  • FLAChick

    I don’t have anything called Users in my settings. I just went through every single setting. Maybe I don’t have Android N. What is that and how do I know if I have it?