Android users have been sent an essential warning from Google about the immensely popular Microsoft Teams app. Last month, a terrifying bug was discovered in the Android version of the Microsoft Teams app, which could block calls made to emergency numbers. It was initially thought only calls made to the US emergency number (911) were being blocked, by now Google has revealed that calls to other emergency numbers – such as 999 in the UK and 112 in Europe – may also be prevented.
A full fix for the problem is coming to Android handsets with the January 2022 update, but in the meantime, Google has issued emails to all users urging them to update their Microsoft Teams app.
The email was highlighted by Mishaal Rahman, the former editor-in-chief of XDA Developers. Mishaal posted on Twitter: “Wow – Google is now emailing users telling them to update the Microsoft Teams app if they have a version that has the potential to trigger the emergency calling bug in Android.”
Only certain Microsoft Teams users are still at risk – with anyone updating the app after December 10 2021 safe from the dangerous bug.
The email Google has been sending out said: “Hello, you may have a version of the Microsoft Teams app installed on an Android device that may unintentionally prevent emergency calling (e.g. 911, 999, 112, etc. depending on your region) when you are not logged into the app.
“The issue is caused by an unintended interaction between the Microsoft Teams app and the underlying Android operating system. Please visit the Google Play Store and update to the latest version of Microsoft Teams immediately.”
The message goes onto add: “If you have updated the Microsoft Teams app after December 10, 2021, you can ignore this email.”
The latest version of Microsoft Teams for Android was released on December 18, with this build 1416/126.96.36.1991195305.
Chances are you probably have activated automatic updates on your Android device so have already installed the latest Teams patch. If not, then simply head to the Play Store and if an update button is showing for you on the Microsoft Teams app listing then click it.
As Google explained, this dangerous bug won’t affect all users – with certain pre-existing conditions needing to be met for the glitch to kick in.
Reports of this bug first emerged on Reddit, with one user detailing how their Pixel phone prevented them from calling an ambulance for their grandmother when she appeared to be having a stroke.
The Reddit user dialled 911 but their phone got stuck after just one ring.
Thankfully, a landline was also available when the emergency happened so they were still able to call an ambulance for their grandmother.
The Reddit user posted: “I had to call an ambulance for the grandmother on Friday as she appeared to be having a stroke. I got off a phone call with my mom, and proceeded to dial 911 just by typing and calling on my Pixel. 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.
“As my phone had clearly just been working from a phone call perspective, my best guess is the extra step of trying to send my location caused it to freeze. It then prevented me from hanging up and trying to call any phone number again. Luckily my grandmother is of the generation that still has a land line, otherwise I would have had to restart my phone, wait for a reboot, and then attempt to call emergency services so they could get people over ASAP.”
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