Google calls on email to update Teams app for Android

Google is emailing Android users to update their Teams installation. Due to an interaction between that app and the OS, users may not be able to call emergency numbers. The problem has been resolved, but Google seems to be not updating fast enough.

The email has been posted here and there on social media. It is not clear how many users receive the e-mail and which variables determine this. What is already known is that Teams versions lower than 1416/1.0.0.2021194504 have the problem. The help page Google links to in the email stating that Android 8 and above has been affected; previously thought to be 10 and later.

The updated version of teams has been available since sometime in the first half of December. On the Android side, the issue will be resolved with the January Android security update, which will be distributed on Tuesday, January 4. It differs per manufacturer and device when that update is available, which makes the Teams update still important.

Android journalist Mishaal Rahman and others have a detailed report written of their research in the field of this shortcoming. The problem is that Teams inadvertently registers itself many times as an app capable of making phone calls, including emergency calls. This in itself isn’t a problem yet, but the app did so much more than once over a period of time, filling the registry and causing the emergency call system to fail. This only happened if you weren’t logged in to Teams.

The problem initially occurred on a Reddit user’s Pixel phone. Google does not mention specific affected devices on the support page, but does nest the page under ‘Pixel Support’, which makes it somewhat unclear whether in principle all devices are affected, or only Pixels.