Emergency alerts app

Danny McG

But even the devil can't fool a dog
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This app titled "Emergency Alerts" has mysteriously appeared on my Android phone today.

A quick Google says that there's a chance that sometime tomorrow afternoon I'll get a UK government test alert siren noise on my phone.

Has anybody else in the UK found this app on their phone recently?

I'm really excited and hoping I get a siren!
 

CupofJoe

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I read about it a few weeks ago. It will be nationwide [nations-wide?] but they are starting with regional tests. I thought the first test was in East Anglia... But I could see why Cumbria would be a good choice.
Enjoy the siren!
 

CupofJoe

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This is the type of service/system I thought Mobile Phones were perfect for. I'm surprised that it took this long to set up.
And it will be really annoying/useful if it ignores the "Do not disturb" settings.
 

Montero

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Useful, do wonder what will happen to people without mobiles, or who currently don't have a signal. Will all those who got the message call out to them, wave frantically etc and get them out the way, or just scoot off. I hope the government puts in the message something to the effect "as you safely evacuate the area, pass on the message to anyone who is walking in the wrong direction".....
 

mosaix

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Sounds like a good idea but it appearing on your phone without your knowledge is something that irritates the hell out of me.

It’s probably covered in ‘terms and conditions’ but the idea that Google, Apple and Microsoft can do what the hell they like with other people’s property is a dangerous trend that should have been strangled at birth. It’s probably too late to do anything about it now.
 

CupofJoe

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There is a bit on the Gov website saying this won't replace all the usual channels
"Emergency alerts will not replace local news, radio, television or social media."
I think the US has had this sort of system for years. In a land of Tornados [etc] I can see it might be useful...
 

Dave

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I'm going to be the glass half empty guy; I only see negatives here. I'm sure there are some positives - earthquakes, tornados, tsunami, chemical clouds, terrorist bombers, mad axemen on the loose, pilotless aircraft with snakes roaming free - but just for starters, a overly reliance on technology is never good. I was away camping recently and someone went wild swimming. His Apple watch began acting up - an alert going off randomly - culminating with it automatically calling the emergency services (these things monitor your heart-rate and make automated calls) and him having to forcefully persuade them that he really did not call them, and really was in no need of an ambulance!

Secondly, unless these alerts are going to tell you exactly what and where the problem is then they will just cause worry and alarm. There will be false positives. The Track and Trace App alerts you if your "Covid-19 ridden" next door neighbour has sat on the sofa on the other side of the wall to you, or even in the flat on the floor above you. You need to be able to evaluate these risks yourself, and therefore you need more information than a siren. The emergency procedures for fire, earthquake and tsunami can be totally different instructions - New Zealand have three different sirens for those - and obviously, those instructions need to be tailored to specific locations and buildings, rather than a one-size-fits-all.

Thirdly, I can't get too political, but having excessively worried and anxious citizens is a good way to control them and make them vote towards more extreme measures on the grounds of public safety. If Covid-19 hasn't been enough to worry people recently, they want to have them dancing to the strings of a phone alert too. I'm sure that isn't the intention here, but it could be seen as very sinister.

Fourthly, putting apps on your phone without your permission or knowledge? When did that become okay anyway?

do wonder what will happen to people without mobiles, or who currently don't have a signal.
People without the latest mobile phones have been side-lined for a long time now, especially those without smart phones, and those without a phone at all, they're pariahs! So, nothing new there. Don't have the Track and Trace app or a phone number, then you can't come in! Don't have the Breweries own app to make an order, then you can't sit outside in the pub garden! Want tickets? You can't book them without the app. Paper timetables? Get the app! Can't get that required app, then your phone must be more than 3 years old! That's an old phone apparently!

People without a signal - despite the advertising that says they have 99% signal coverage (they mean of the population not of the geographical area) there are large areas with no signal, usually rural valleys with few people. Obviously, it is far too expensive to actually achieve 100% coverage via phone masts. There was an idea some time ago to piggy-back signals between phones. So, if for example, there was a line of fell walkers and the person in the front had a signal, then that signal could leap-frog its way along the line however long it might be to the back, hopping between phones. You wouldn't need to be in 'radio sight' of a mast, but only in 'sight' of another phone, which was in sight of another phone... which was eventually in 'sight' of a mast.

I've no idea what happened to that idea, because I never heard of it again. Maybe rural folk just don't complain enough about being excluded from the modern world.
 

.matthew.

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I got this last week myself. Mildly alarmed me for like a second...
Though I remember getting some test alerts via text about 15 years ago as well, so it's nothing new, fairly sure the government has always had the ability to mass alert mobile phones.
 

mosaix

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People without the latest mobile phones have been side-lined for a long time now, especially those without smart phones, and those without a phone at all, they're pariahs!

Very true. I have an iPhone6. Not very old but the NHS Track and Trace app won't load on it because it's only written for the latest version of the iPhone. That's probably millions of people excluded from a) telling the system that they're infected and b) being informed that they've been in the vicinity of an infected person.
 

Abernovo

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Hopefully, it works better than some weather apps: you can expect rain in two hours, whilst your stood in it.

Or better than the Track & Trace app, which, without getting political, was only slightly better than sticking a pin in a map, for the inaccuracy.

"Dorothy, you may expect tornadoes in your area." Unfortunately, Dorothy is already flying, alongside her neighbour's barn.
 

J Riff

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yeah, one day a siren went off and it was a missing person alert... since then a few more similar. No idea how it got on the phone, or if it will continue. .
 

M. Robert Gibson

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appearing on your phone without your knowledge is something that irritates the hell out of me.

putting apps on your phone without your permission or knowledge? When did that become okay anyway?

My first thought is: What else have they put on your phone without your knowledge or permission? :mad:

But then I did some research

and

"
The emergency services and the UK government do not need your phone number to send you an alert.
You will get alerts based on your current location – not where you live or work.
No one will collect or share data about you, your device or your location when you receive an alert.
You will not get alerts if your device is turned off or in aeroplane mode.
Emergency alerts are free. You do not need to sign up for them or download an app.
You can opt out of some emergency alerts, but you should keep them switched on for your own safety.
"

Of course, all this is irrelevant to me. I don't have a compatible mobile phone
 

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