Wed. Nov 29th, 2023

Some Google Pixel owners are still unable to dial 911. This is a years-long problem that began in 2021 when a Reddit user struggled to contact emergency services from their Pixel 3 smartphone. The reasons for this problem are currently unknown. If you own a Pixel phone, you can contact your local non-emergency number to schedule a 911 test call — detailed instructions for scheduling a 911 test call are listed on the website.

This is a very odd predicament. In December 2021, Google publicly acknowledged the reports of failed 911 calls. It blamed the problem on buggy behavior in Android dialer and Microsoft Teams. Essentially, Android dialer keeps a list of all registered “PhoneAccounts,” which are apps and services that can place phone calls. But the Microsoft Teams app repeatedly re-registered itself as a calling service, clogging the Android dialer with a ton of extra “PhoneAccounts.” When calling 911, Android looks for the best available calling service, but the extra Microsoft Teams listings would create a stack overflow/underflow issue and caused Android dialer to crash on Pixel devices.

The 2021 bug was patched by Google and Microsoft in early 2022. But some Pixel owners are still experiencing this problem. As reported by Android Authority, a Reddit user named u/10-1-100 has compiled a list of over 20 emergency call failures experienced by Pixel users since January 2022—some of these failures occurred within the last few months. Several iterations of the Google Pixel smartphone, including the newer Pixel 7, are included in this list. Other Android smartphones seem to be unaffected by this issue.

Frustratingly, these emergency call failures seem to occur without any rhyme or reason. Affected users are spread across the globe (not just the United States) and use a variety of carriers. And the Android operating system has received several firmware updates since 2022. The only common factor is the Google Pixel.

The good news is that this isn’t a widespread problem. Most Pixel owners have no trouble calling 911. And, somewhat ironically, police departments have spent the last year complaining about accidental 911 calls from the Pixel’s Emergency SOS system. But if your Pixel is affected by this bug, you won’t know until you need to call 911. That’s why Pixel owners should contact their local non-emergency number and schedule a 911 test call. Again, visit the website if you need detailed instructions. We shouldn’t need to say this, but misuse of 911 is irresponsible and illegal. Do not make your test call without scheduling it first. Also, just because the test worked once doesn’t mean a future call might not go through — Google really needs to get to the bottom of these issues.

Google hasn’t acknowledged or responded to reports of failed 911 calls. We’ve reached out for a comment and will update this article with any new information we learn.

Source: Android Authority

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By John P.

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