An error that prevented a small number of Android users from calling an emergency if they had Microsoft Teams installed and were not logged in has been fixed in the latest version of the application.
Google on Friday confirmed the error after the investigation and said he managed to repeat the problem “under a limited set of circumstances”. The company found that the problem was caused by an unintentional reaction between the Microsoft Teams app and the Android operating system. Both Google and Microsoft have given priority to the problem, Google said, and have announced it will be updated for teams to address it.
For its part, Google said it would introduce an update for Android on January 4th. The company said it was aware of only one user affected by the bug, but nevertheless encouraged users with Teams installed on any device with Android 10 and newer to update the app as soon as possible. (Before Microsoft updated the app, Google advised users to uninstall and reinstall Teams to fix the problem in the meantime).
Bug originally marked a Reddit user with Pixel 3 with Android 11. In late November, they had to contact an ambulance to request an ambulance because they believed their grandmother had a stroke. According to the user account, their phone froze after one ring even though it seemed to have a call running in the background. Although the user said Pixel had informed them that their location had been sent to the emergency services, they could not speak to the emergency service operator.
After trying again unsuccessfully, the user decided to call 911 on their grandmother’s landline. They noted that they do not have a landline phone at home and must have confidence that their phone will be able to make emergency phone calls.
“I’ll let you know from experience that the last thing you want to do wrong during a real emergency is get your phone messed up,” wrote the user. “Especially when time is crucial and the sooner you get an ambulance to your door, the more likely you are to survive.”
I totally agree with the Reddit user here. I also don’t have a landline at home and wouldn’t know how to contact 911 in an emergency in this situation. I’d probably knock on the door of all my neighbors until I find a phone that works, which is an added stress that you don’t need in an emergency.
Fortunately, the bug seems to have affected only one user who was able to find a solution, but the idea that it is a large-scale problem is truly daunting. It is also a reminder of how much humanity has begun to rely on technology and how helpless we can be when it fails.
“You know how amazing it is how a phone can bring a sense of security and how shockingly insecure it feels when he knows his phone is royally decorated,” the user wrote in update to their post on Reddit after Google responded to the problem.