You don’t always have time to type a text or make a call when an emergency happens. By creating an Android emergency routine, you can quickly call for help with Google Assistant. You can even create a simple voice command or even a quick-tap icon to make a call, text someone, or even start recording.
Why Create an Android Emergency Routine
It doesn’t take long to send a text, but every second counts sometimes. If you were in a crowd of people and someone started shooting, you could simply yell at your Google Assistant or quickly tap a single icon to contact multiple people to let them know you are in trouble. If you’re afraid during a traffic stop, you could tell Google Assistant your emergency word or phrase to start a routine that records audio and/or video.
The great thing is you can create multiple emergency routines for different situations. Assign one or more actions to take when the routine is triggered. While, hopefully, you’ll never need to use it, it’ll be there should the worst happen.
The best part is you don’t need an expensive app. You’ll need to download one free app to enable the one-tap action, but otherwise, everything is already on your Android device.
Enable Voice Match
Google Assistant needs to learn your voice before you can create an Android emergency routine. If you already use Assistant, you might have already done this. If so, skip this step and move on to the next section.
1. Open the Google app (it’s the app with the G icon) and tap Settings.
2. Go to Voice.
3. Tap “Voice Match” and complete the steps to configure Google to understand your unique voice. Otherwise, Assistant could start the emergency routine for anyone that says the right word/phrase.
Create Android Emergency Routine
You’ll use the same Google app to create your emergency routine. Open the Google app and tap Settings, then “Google Assistant.”
Select the Assistant tab under your name and tap Routines.
Tap the add routine button (the blue + sign at the bottom right).
Next, tap “Add Commands.” This is the command you’ll say to trigger the routine. Remember or write down what you type. Press the back arrow once you’re done.
Tap “Add Action” to tell Google Assistant what to do when you say the command. You can enter something on your own or choose from popular actions.
Some commands have to be entered manually, such as making a call. Several commands you may want to type in the “Enter a Google Assistant command” box include:
- Call contact’s name (enter the name exactly how it’s listed in your Contacts list)
- Send my location to contact’s name (you’ll need location services turned on)
- Start recording video
You can actually add all of these actions and contact multiple people. Simply add each action one by one. These are performed in order. Ideally, send messages and locations before starting a recording to avoid any delay in reaching your contacts.
To send a text or another type of popular action, tap “Choose from popular actions” and select “Send a text” in the Communication section. You’ll be prompted to choose a number and what the text should say. Tap Add at the top to add your action(s).
When you’re finished adding, go back to the “Add Action” window and tap Save to finish.
Add a One-Tap Icon
If you don’t want to talk to your phone, you can create an Android emergency routine that activates when you tap a specific icon on your screen. These are known as Action Blocks.
Download the Action Blocks app. This integrates with Google Assistant, but you’ll create blocks to perform actions versus using your voice.
Once the app’s installed, open it and tap “Create Action Block.”
Select an action from the list if you want to create a single action for your block. Or, if you want to use the routine you created earlier, tap “Create custom action.”
Enter the same name or phrase that you used for your routine’s command earlier. Uncheck the “Always speak action out loud” box and tap Next.
Choose an image for your icon and the name it’ll have on your home screen. Tap “Save Action Block.”
Finally, you’ll need to add it to your screen. You’ll see a box that describes how to do this, but the process is simple. Go to your home screen and long-press in an empty spot.
Select Widgets and drag “Action Blocks” to an available area of your home screen. Select your newly-created Action Block when prompted.
For the voice command to work, your screen must be on. However, quickly unlocking your screen and tapping the button for Google Assistant to listen is faster than unlocking your screen and trying to perform your emergency actions manually. If you use Bluetooth, you can enable voice commands even if your phone is locked. Do this in the Voice settings in the Google app.
An Action Block lets you unlock your screen and tap the icon to execute your emergency routine. Both are quick to do and you may even want to use both so you’re ready in any situation.
Other than setting up an Android emergency routine, there are also many other things Google assistant can do to improve your productivity. Check it out.