The dashcam feature might initially be limited to Pixel phones, with Google making it available on other devices in the future.
Android phones have come a long way both in terms of looks and functionality. Pixel device owners might be aware that Google often brings new features to its smartphone lineup via ‘Feature Drop’. According to a recent report by 9to5Google, an internal version of the ‘Personal Safety’ app that was introduced back in 2019 as part of a ‘Feature Drop’ suggests that Google might soon let users use their Android phones as a dash cam.
In case you are unaware, the Personal Safety app offers several useful features like ‘Emergency Sharing’, ‘Safety Check’ and ‘Car Crash Detection’ and is available on Pixel devices and some other phones like the Nothing Phone (1).
Once enabled, the new feature will be visible in the ‘Personal Safety’ app under the ‘Be prepared’ section. It turns your Android phone into a dashcam and works by automatically recording compressed video from the phone’s camera. When in dashcam mode, users will be able to use the phone to do whatever they want like using it to navigate via Google Maps. If you want to save power, lock your phone using the power button and you are good to go, with the dashcam feature still recording videos.
When setting up the feature, users can choose if they want their phones to start recording as soon as it pairs with a Bluetooth device like your car’s infotainment system and stop when it disconnects. And if you are concerned about storage space, keep in mind that the recordings will be automatically deleted after three days unless you save them manually. The dashcam footage will be recorded in a compressed format that takes up to 30MB per minute and has a maximum recording length of up to 24 hours.
This is a really useful feature since smartphone cameras are better compared to cheap dashcams, but the phone might generate a lot of heat since it will continuously use camera hardware and will be under direct sunlight. Moreover, it remains to be seen how much effect it will have on the battery life. Maybe Google will roll out the ability to use Android phones as dashcams in the upcoming June Pixel feature drop.