Google Now used to alert Android users of Hurricane Sandy and Tsunami threat

Google Now was unveiled as part of Jellybean a few short months ago to much fanfare since it's a notification service that requires no interaction from the user based on their habits.

The company added public emergency notifications a few months later, but we've yet to actually see them in action. Yesterday, when a 7.2 earthquake off the coast of Canada generated a tsunami, the public emergency notification service sprung into action and users in areas that could be affected were notified by users.

Such a service is extremely useful in countries that don't have nationwide tsunami warning systems, and it's fantastic to see Google both baking in this functionality and actively using it for the safety of their users. The service is also delivering notifications about dangerous wind and weather systems as part of Hurricane Sandy in the USA.

Ironically enough, if you had Google Web Search History turned on and you Googled "Hurricane Sandy" on a PC, somehow, Google Now would try and give you directions to it. Not quite what the company likely intended.

It's great to see the search giant providing such a public service. We're not sure where these alerts actually come from, and whether or not Google pushes them manually, but we hope they'll roll out around the world over time.

Source: Reddit

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15 Comments

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i love me some google now, but OEMs aint really doing that much to update to JB...

but yeah, I agree with the previous poster, as far as I remember there was an emergency alert setting on google now buried in the option...

Not impressed at all, google knows your whole life and your fears... if you get this kind of ads probably they know where you live too (city, block, house, floor, room, bed, pillow, etc..)

If you shop online, how many companies know where you live? If you buy from sites like Ebay or the Amazon sellers, how many random people know where you live?

WinRT said,
Not impressed at all, google knows your whole life and your fears... if you get this kind of ads probably they know where you live too (city, block, house, floor, room, bed, pillow, etc..)

or you can wear a tin foil hat..

WinRT said,
Not impressed at all, google knows your whole life and your fears... if you get this kind of ads probably they know where you live too (city, block, house, floor, room, bed, pillow, etc..)

Wow really? Might as well get off the internet then, since anyone with your IP can find out roughly where you are. You know that number you leave behind in the server logs of pratically every ****ing website you visit.

Besides, this is not exactly hard to do, as its just combining two bits of already public information anyway.

WinRT said,
Not impressed at all, google knows your whole life and your fears... if you get this kind of ads probably they know where you live too (city, block, house, floor, room, bed, pillow, etc..)

Tinfoil Hat Comment. Nothing to see here. Move a long.

WinRT said,
Not impressed at all, google knows your whole life and your fears... if you get this kind of ads probably they know where you live too (city, block, house, floor, room, bed, pillow, etc..)

So when you are prompted as to whether you wish to use Google Now or not (For it's not enabled by default) you pick NO.

ensiform said,
Now if only they would bring GN to gingerbread.

Why?

It's a key feature of JB so why would they port it to GB.

mizkitty said,
Noticed this last night on the Google Maps page (on the PC) when I was looking up a local BC address.

Even when you search it brings it up on the desktop.