Google is reportedly working on a new feature that could turn Android phones into dashcams, as part of its ongoing efforts to enhance the functionality of Pixel devices through regular “Feature Drops.” An internal version of the ‘Personal Safety’ app, which was introduced in 2019, indicates that Google is exploring the possibility of integrating dashcam functionality into Android phones.
The ‘Personal Safety’ app currently offers features such as ‘Emergency Sharing,’ ‘Safety Check,’ and ‘Car Crash Detection’ on select Pixel devices and a few other phones. The upcoming addition of a dashcam feature would further expand the app’s capabilities.
Once activated, the dashcam feature will be accessible within the ‘Personal Safety’ app’s ‘Be prepared’ section. It will allow users to utilize their Android phones as dashcams by automatically recording compressed videos using the phone’s camera. Users will have the freedom to perform other tasks on their phones, such as navigation through Google Maps, while the dashcam feature continues to record videos.
To conserve power, users can lock their phones using the power button while the dashcam feature remains active. Users will also have the option to configure the feature to start recording as soon as the phone pairs with a Bluetooth device, such as a car’s infotainment system, and stop recording when the connection is terminated. Recorded videos will be automatically deleted after three days, unless manually saved. The compressed footage will occupy approximately 30MB per minute, with a maximum recording duration of 24 hours.
While this feature presents a practical solution as smartphone cameras often surpass the quality of inexpensive dashcams, there are concerns regarding potential overheating and battery drain caused by continuous camera usage and exposure to direct sunlight. The precise impact on battery life remains to be seen.
It is speculated that Google may introduce the ability to use Android phones as dashcams in an upcoming Pixel feature drop, possibly as early as the June release.