Recent reports indicate that the police are encouraging the use of dashcams by the public, as they can greatly aid in investigating traffic incidents. The Royal Malaysia Police even took to Facebook to gather opinions on the matter. If you’re considering purchasing a dashcam, it’s worth checking if you have a spare device that could serve the purpose in the near future. An upcoming update to Google’s Personal Safety app is set to allow smartphones to function as dashcams. The app, which houses various safety features like Emergency Sharing, Car Crash Detection, and Safety Check, is available on Google Pixel devices and certain other Android smartphones. It has been observed to work on devices such as the Asus ROG Phone 7, implying that Personal Safety is supported on smartphones running a stock-like version of Android. This development offers the potential for repurposing existing smartphones as dashcams, providing a convenient and cost-effective solution.
Google accidentally released an early build of the upcoming version of their Personal Safety app on the Play Store, and users discovered a new feature called Dashcam. This feature allows you to use your phone as a recording device while driving, capturing video and audio. To utilize it, you’ll need to securely mount your phone on your car’s dashboard. Interestingly, it was found that you can still use your phone for navigation with Google Maps while recording video, and you can even conserve battery life by turning off the screen.
In this early build, the Dashcam feature can automatically start when you connect your phone to your car’s stereo and infotainment system via Bluetooth, and it will stop recording when disconnected. To save storage space, all recordings are set to be deleted after three days. Additionally, each video is compressed to a size of around 30MB per minute, with a maximum recording length of 24 hours. These details indicate that Google is actively working on incorporating Dashcam functionality into their Personal Safety app, providing users with a convenient and integrated solution for recording their driving experiences.
Using your phone as a dashcam may raise concerns about overheating when it is exposed to sunlight while recording video and performing navigation tasks. It would be beneficial if the Personal Safety app offered the option to use the ultrawide lens for a wider recording angle. However, if you have a compatible smartphone, either as your primary or secondary device, it can be a convenient solution for recording while driving. We need to wait for the full release of the feature within the Personal Safety app, but it appears that it won’t be limited to Pixel devices only, which is a positive aspect.