Emergency alerts on your Android smartphone are a good thing — even if they are a bit annoying

Every so often — or frequently, depending on your tolerance level — you get an AMBER alert on your phone. That horrible blaring of the emergency alert tone, the buzzing of your phone’s vibrating motor, and then the grim news. Someone’s missing. Or there’s a severe weather alert headed your way. Suddenly and without warning, your phone’s scaring the hell out of you. It’s bad enough during the day, and downright dreadful in the dead of night.

And that’s the idea.

The U.S. carriers have worked with the federal government to come up with a way to push alerts to your Android smartphone to warn you about inclement weather, or other matters of grave national importance. The point is they want you to see this information in hopes that it could save your life — or someone else’s.

But, like a good many things, emergency alerts on Android can be a bit of a mess. We’ll explain.


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