Android 5 Lollipop provides mobile device owners management facility on how to receive emergency alert. While most people do not even imagine involving in a dire situation, many are perhaps activating their weather or Amber alerts and allow themselves to be jerked with sounds they do not want to hear, but cannot just ignore. Mobile devices are the best way to pass important information these days, as many people carry them all along.
Following the 2006 Warning, Alert and Response Network Act, U.S. networks have a way of notifying the public with Wireless Emergency Alerts (WEA). The alerts are sent to mobile phones as well as pagers; and these alerts are of three types: from the United States president, Amber alerts (when a person is missing), and those involving life and safety threats. When delivered, these alerts are of high priority service, putting them ahead of text, call and Internet services, which is indeed useful especially during network congestions. Though mobile device owners can opt to block emergency messages by using the Android 5 Lollipop emergency alert management feature, they are not allowed to block those from the United States president.
The U.S. Emergency Alert System works with the National Weather Service and can send alerts in case of dangerous weather conditions like dust storms, thunderstorms, flash floods, extreme winds and tornadoes. All major carriers in the U.S. have signed up for the service and so mobile owners likewise need to take a look on how these alerts should be managed in Android 5 Lollipop, before they are even needed.
Google’s new mobile operating system Android 5 Lollipop, puts the management feature under Settings, Wireless, and then selecting Networks, where users can choose to activate or not, display of extreme threats, severe threats and Amber alerts. Another option is toggling the Alert Reminder and the notifications for emergency alert broadcasts. Furthermore, they can specify how long the alert sound should be and if they allow the device to vibrate during alerts or not.
There was an instance in New York when police woke up many people at 4 o’clock in the morning. It was on July 2013, when the police had to make a difficult decision to wake people up as there was a child missing, and the possibility of recovering a missing child reduces every minute. They decided to issue an amber alert and cellphones in New York received message of a seven-month old child who was abducted by his own mother. Such move indeed helped recover the boy, but many were not so happy to have been woken up very early by their devices, hence, the provision by Android 5 Lollipop of user options with regard to emergency alerts, is much welcomed by some.
Despite the early morning wake-up annoying some, the police got the child back, thanks to the huge contribution of the mobile devices. Smartphones and tablets are now regarded as significant communication tools to quickly alert the public, when their property or lives are in danger. That is why, U.S. government bodies like the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Federal Communications Commission designed the WEA, to ensure Americans they can be alerted in times of danger.
As for the new Google mobile platform, Android version 5, it has been recently released with the introduction of new features, but the Android 5 Lollipop emergency alert management is not so far from the past versions. Many original equipment manufacturers are now having their hands full in upgrading their Android devices with Lollipop.
By Judith Aparri
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