Microsoft Teams no longer blocks 911 calls on Android phones
An update to Microsoft Teams fixes a bug that can prevent Android phones from calling 911.
What you need to know
- A recent set of issues blocked certain Android phones from dialing 911 when Microsoft Teams was installed.
- The situation has raised concerns regarding how third-party apps are able to affect emergency call services on Android.
- A recent update to Microsoft Teams appears to address part of the issue.
Microsoft has released an update to Teams that addresses a bug that can prevent Android phones from being able to dial 911. In late November, a Reddit user shared a story in which they were unable to dial 911 when their grandmother required an ambulance. Bugs within Microsoft Teams and the Android operating system appear to have worked in conjunction to prevent access to emergency call services.
"Based on our investigation we have been able to reproduce the issue under a limited set of circumstances," explained Google in a Reddit comment. "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."
While the issue has only been seen affecting 911 calls when Teams is installed (other apps can cause the issue but there have not been any notable reports at this time), Microsoft claims that it's solely an Android bug. When we were sent the following official statement from Microsoft, a company spokesperson claimed that the problem was caused by an Android operating system issue:
The senior technical editor for Esper, Mishaal Rahman, seemed to place blame on both Android and Microsoft Teams. "Understandably, the revelation that a third-party app like Microsoft Teams was able to interfere with a process as critical as emergency dialing had many users upset and confused," said Rahman in a Medium post. "Under no circumstance should emergency dialing be blocked on a device; carriers are required by law to route emergency calls to the local emergency services even if the device doesn't have a SIM card provisioned on their network."
Rahman later went on to explain in technical detail how the issue presents itself and that Microsoft had a fix for the Teams app on the way.
That update has since rolled out with Teams version 1416/126.96.36.1991194504. Note that Microsoft's fix only addresses the problem in relation to Teams. Other applications could contain a similar bug to what was once in the Teams app. Bugs such as this could still block calling 911 until Google rolls out an update to Android.
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Sean Endicott brings nearly a decade of experience covering Microsoft and Windows news to Windows Central. He joined our team in 2017 as an app reviewer and now heads up our day-to-day news coverage. If you have a news tip or an app to review, hit him up at firstname.lastname@example.org (opens in new tab).
In many places you can also make emergency calls using the international emergency number 112.