What you need to know
- A bug involving Microsoft Teams and Android phones may prevent a device from calling 911.
- A Pixel owner reported the issue, which has since been replicated and confirmed by Google.
- Having Microsoft Teams installed but not logging into the app appears to be the cause of the problem.
Update December 31, 2021, at 8:45 a.m. ET: Google is reportedly nudging people to update Microsoft Teams.
Update December 10, 2021, at 3:15 p.m. ET: Microsoft has provided the following statement: "We are aware of Google's plans to roll-out an Android platform update in January. We are working on an update to our own application to avoid triggering the underlying Android operating system issue. We are collaborating closely with Google to resolve this unintended interaction."
A bug involving Microsoft Teams and Android devices can prevent phones from being able to dial 911. KitchenPicture5849 first reported the issue on Reddit. Google has since confirmed the issue and found what it believes to be the root cause.
"Based on our investigation we have been able to reproduce the issue under a limited set of circumstances. 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," explains Google in a Reddit comment. "We determined that the issue was being caused by unintended interaction between the Microsoft Teams app and the underlying Android operating system."
The comment continues to say that Microsoft and Google are "heavily prioritizing the issue" because it relates to emergency services.
Until a permanent solution is rolled out, Google suggests ensuring that you are signed into Microsoft Teams if the app is installed on your phone. If a person has Teams but is not signed in, Google recommends uninstalling the app and reinstalling it.
Making sure that Teams is up to date is also important, according to Google. "We advise users to keep an eye out for an update to the Microsoft Teams app, and ensure it is applied as soon as available."
Commenters on Reddit asked how a third-party app could have this level of control, accidental or otherwise, over such core system functionalities.