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Google’s Personal Safety Update Will Turn Pixel Phones Into Dashcams

Google Pixel 7's rear cameras
Andrew Heinzman / Review Geek

With an upcoming Personal Safety app update, Pixel phone users will soon be able to use their smartphones as dashcams for their cars, 9to5Google has discovered.

Accidentally released as a “dogfood” build, the Personal Safety app update was briefly available on the Play Store. Upon examining the release, 9to5Google’s APK Insight team uncovered a new feature called “Dashcam.” As the name suggests, this feature allows users to record video and audio while driving, offering valuable documentation for accidents or unexpected incidents.

To access the Dashcam feature, users can launch it through a dedicated shortcut in the home page’s “Be Prepared” section. From there, users can initiate manual recordings or review recently captured videos. Conveniently, while the Dashcam is recording, users can still fully utilize their phones, including navigation with Google Maps. Alternatively, users can lock their screens to save power while the recording continues.

One notable aspect of Dashcam is its seamless integration, requiring minimal user intervention. During setup, users can opt for recordings to automatically start when their phone connects to a specific Bluetooth device, such as their car stereo or entertainment system. Recordings will automatically cease when the connection is lost.

To manage phone storage space efficiently, recordings are automatically deleted after three days unless users choose to save them. The app also mentions that the videos are compressed, averaging approximately “30 MB per minute,” with a maximum recording length of 24 hours.

The implementation of using smartphones as dashcams appear to be well-thought-out and nearly ready for launch. Furthermore, using a smartphone as a dashcam presents several advantages, as most smartphones possess superior camera capabilities compared to some lower-end dashcams.

Although the feature’s details do not indicate exclusivity to Google Pixel devices, it’s not clear if Dashcam will be available on other phones using the Personal Safety app. If it remains exclusive to Pixel devices, the next opportunity for Google to introduce Pixel features will likely be in the June Pixel Feature Drop.

Great as a Dashcam

Source: 9to5Google

Danny Chadwick Danny Chadwick
Danny has been a technology journalist since 2008. He served as senior writer, as well as multimedia and home improvement editor at Top Ten Reviews until 2019. Since then, he has been a freelance contributor to Lifewire and ghostwriter for Fit Small Business. His work has also appeared on Laptop Mag, Tom’s Guide, and business.com. Read Full Bio »