In an effort to help Ukrainians get to safety, Google will immediately start rolling out alerts for incoming air raids to their Android phone users.
This was disclosed by the company in its blog post on Thursday.
President of global affairs for Google, Kent Walker, said the Air Raid Alert system will work in conjunction with the Ukrainian government.
“At the request, and with the help, of the government of Ukraine, we’ve started rolling out a rapid Air Raid Alerts system for Android phones in Ukraine.
“This work is supplemental to the country’s existing air raid alert systems, and based on alerts already being delivered by the Ukrainian government,” Walker wrote.
Vice president of engineering at Google for Android, Dave Burke, said the system is based off of the earthquake alerts they send users.
He pointed out that the new system has started rolling out already and will ramp up to target all Android phones in Ukraine over the next few days.
He said: “The system leverages our low latency alert mechanism we built for earthquake alerts,” Burke tweeted.
“The air raid system is supplemental too, and shares the same triggers used for, the country’s existing air raid alert systems.”
On March 4, Google directed Google Play users in Ukraine to the Ukrainian Alarm app. They said the app was created by Ukrainian developers in cooperation with the Ukrainian government to give people better air raid warnings.
“Now, Ukrainians will be able to receive alerts if their phone location and internet is turned on without the third-party app.
“Air raid alerts and sirens in Ukraine are a tragic daily reality, and we’re doing all we can to help people get these crucial alerts as many ways as possible,” the company stated.
Google has already blocked Russian state media channels from its platforms, including the Google Play store.
It has suspended Google Pay for customers of sanctions-hit Russian banks, meaning customers of those banks won’t be able to use the mobile payment system.