Commercial Mobile Alert Service (CMAS) is a service that provides safety alerts based on the geographical location of a mobile user. You know the “This is a test and only a test, should this be a real emergency…” that you get on your TV now and then. Well its basically the same idea, but for mobile devices. CMAS is not new and in fact was first introduced in the U.S. by Sprint back in November. Now AT&T is currently underway pushing this out to the new Samsung Galaxy S II™ (SGH-i777). According to AT&T this was to begin on December 16 with the release of new software. It’s not clear if this will be an update to Android or a carrier side update. The update will allow Presidential, Imminent threat, and Amber alerts directly to the mobile device. Here is some of the official info:
Beginning December 16, 2011 AT&T will release new software on Samsung Galaxy S II™ (SGH-i777) to support Commercial Mobile Alert Service (CMAS).
CMAS is a new public safety system that allows customers who own an enabled mobile device to receive geographically-targeted, text-like messages alerting them of imminent threats to safety in their area. Consumers will receive only three types of alerts through CMAS:
Presidential Alerts (automatic alerts that cannot be disabled by the customer) Imminent Threat Alerts (FEMA type alerts – customers can opt out of receiving these messages) Amber Alerts (e.g., child abduction alerts – customers can opt out of receiving these messages)
I’m an owner of this exact phone and I myself haven’t received any type of update or notification about this specifically. We should hear more about this in coming days I’m sure. Presidential Alerts are not optional, hopefully this doesn’t include anything of less than National Security as I myself don’t want to hear about Obama’s new health plan via forced mobile messaging. If you have received this update or maybe know more about it I’d love to hear what you have to say. -Greg
**Update – Looks like a number of users have started receiving the update to Android version 2.3.6 on December 16th as note above. Some of these users had failed attempts, so maybe the update as been slowed or pulled temporarily. Either way looks like this is definitely underway.