It was recently reported that the police are keen on the public using dashcams in their own cars, making it easier when needing to investigate traffic incidents, with the Royal Malaysia Police also posting about it on their Facebook page to gather the people’s opinion on the matter. However, before you go out and buy your own dashcam for your car, you may want to check if you’ve got a spare device that could soon double as one in the near future.
According to 9to5Google, the Personal Safety app from Google will soon have an update that allows you to use your smartphone as a dash cam. In case you didn’t know, the Personal Safety app is basically a hub where a number of safety features such as Emergency Sharing, Car Crash Detection and Safety Check are located. It’s available on all Google Pixel devices but also on other certain Android smartphones such as the Nothing Phone (1). We checked the app out for ourselves and among our different devices we found it also available on the Asus ROG Phone 7; this might imply that Personal Safety is supported on smartphones using a more stock-like version of Android.
Google had apparently accidentally released an early build of an upcoming version of Personal Safety onto the Play Store, and the people over at 9to5Google found that there was a new feature in it called Dashcam. As its name suggests, it allows you to use the phone to record video and audio while driving. You will of course need to mount the phone accordingly on your car’s dashboard. 9to5Google also found that you can still use your phone while recording video for navigation with Google Maps, as well as with the screen off for better battery life.
This early build of Personal Safety also allows you to have Dashcam work automatically when you connect it via Bluetooth to your car stereo and infotainment system and then end it too when disconnected. It seems as all recordings will be automatically deleted after three days to help save on storage space, with each video already compressed so it only takes up about 30MB per minute with a maximum recording length of 24 hours.
There will be some concerns of overheating of course as not only would you be using your phone for navigation anymore but also to record video while under sunlight. It might also be better for Personal Safety to have an option to use the ultrawide lens for a better angle while recording. Nevertheless, if you have a supported smartphone or a supported secondary smartphone, it might become handy when you need to use a dashcam while driving. We’ll have to wait for the feature to be fully released of course with the Personal Safety app, though on the bright side it doesn’t seem as though it’ll be exclusive to the Pixel lineup only.