Android users, go check the Google Play store for an update if you’ve got the Microsoft Teams app installed. You could be saving a life.
A strange confluence of bugs impacting Microsoft Teams and the Android operating system as a whole has put 911 calls placed from Android phones (OS version 10 or later) at risk of being blocked. The issue was was first spotlighted a couple weeks ago in a Reddit post, and then examined and summed up in a subsequent Medium post penned by former XDA-Developers editor-in-chief Mishaal Rahman (h/t Android Police).
«According to Google’s investigation, the issue can occur when the user has the Microsoft Teams app installed but not logged in,» Rahman wrote. That results in what Google described as an «unintended interaction» between the app and the operating system, which leads to the blocked emergency calls.
For those who are affected by it, it’s not the most obvious glitch to detect. When you call 911 on a phone impacted by the issue, it seems to go through. The phone says there’s an active call and it even rings once. But the connection never happens, and the the call never shows up in a call log.
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While the Teams update is already live to address the issue on the Microsoft side — an Android update is also coming on Jan. 4, according to Google — there’s also a relatively easy workaround for those who, for whatever reason, can’t get their app updated. If you have the Teams app installed but aren’t signed in, first uninstall and re-install it, and then sign in. That’s it. Users are advised to remain signed in until they’ve nabbed the Microsoft update.
The cause of the issue is rather complicated and technical, but it basically stems from the way the app and the OS «talk» to each other. If you’re curious, you can find a full rundown in Rahman’s Medium post. The important thing is, the issue is at least partially fixed, and it’s enough to make the Teams vs. Android software conflict go away. The upcoming Android update sounds like more of a proactive move meant to ensure this issue doesn’t spring up with other apps that can make calls.
So go update your Teams app pronto if you have it, whether or not you’re signed in.