Google blames dangerous 9-1-1 bug on Microsoft Teams app interacting with Android


Google blames dangerous 9-1-1 bug on Microsoft Teams app interacting with Android

A dangerous bug is preventing Android users from making emergency phone calls to 9-1-1, the nationwide emergency contact number in the U.S. A Reddit subscriber first reported the issue when her Pixel 3 running Android 11 proze preventing her from making an emergency call when her grandmother suffered a stroke. The Pixel owner had to get off a call with her mother and immediately tried to dial 9-1-1 on the 2018 handset.

A Pixel 3 was frozen and could not make a 9-1-1 call to report that the user’s grandmother was having a stroke

According to her post, “My phone got stuck immediately after one ring and I was unable to do anything other than click through apps with an emergency phone call running in the background. This is all while the phone informed me that it had sent my location to emergency services. Sadly I couldn’t tell the person on the other end what apartment I was in, or what the actual emergency was as I was unable to speak to a human.”

The device owner came up with a theory as to why her Pixel was frozen. She believes that because she was just hanging up on a call, her Pixel got overwhelmed by sending out her location and thus was unable to hang up; this might have prevented her from being able to make another phone call. Her grandmother still has a landline which meant that she didn’t have to wait for the Pixel to restart and reboot so that emergency services could be called.

As the author who experienced this frustrating situation said, “I’ll let you know from experience that the last thing you want to go wrong during an actual emergency is your phone to mess up. Especially when time is of the essence, and the faster you get emergency services to your door, the more likely it is that you will survive.” We can only imagine that helpless feeling when time is of the essence, but you have no control over the time.
She adds, “I sure as hell don’t want a phone that freaks out when I try to call 911 in the middle of a life threatening emergency. I’m supposed to trust that a phone will do the main thing is built for, and place the call, and let me speak to the human on the other end.”

Google says that the issue was caused by “unintended interaction” between the Microsoft Teams app and Android

So after she called 9-1-1 from her grandmother’s landline, the Pixel 3 owner tried to make the call again and the bug continued to lock her out of making the connection to 9-1-1. The attempted call was filmed using her partner’s phone which was a smart way to capture the problem to show Google and Verizon. Speaking of Verizon, the carrier’s call log showed all of the other calls that were made that day by the Pixel 3 with the exception of the calls to 9-1-1.

Google responded by saying, “We believe the issue is only present on a small number of devices with the Microsoft Teams app installed when the user is not logged in, and we are currently only aware of one user report related to the occurrence of this bug. We determined that the issue was being caused by unintended interaction between the Microsoft Teams app and the underlying Android operating system.”

Because the issue impacts emergency calls, both Google and Microsoft say that they are prioritizing the issue and that an update will soon be disseminated to exterminate the bug. In the meantime, Google suggests that you check to make sure that your phone is running Android 10 or higher. If your phone is running Android 9 or lower, you are not affected by this problem.

If you have the Microsoft Teams app installed, make sure that you are signed in to it. If you are signed in, this bug cannot affect you. If you do have the app installed but have not signed in, uninstall the app and sign back in. This will provide a short-term fix although you’ll still need to install the updated version of the app when it is pushed out. Once all users are sent the Microsoft Teams update, Google will alert everyone by sending out a notification to the Reddit thread which can be found in the source link highlighted in the first paragraph of this article.

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