Google fixes bug that stopped some Pixel phones from making 911 calls

Plus: RIP classic QWERTY BlackBerry phones – they'll no longer work properly


Google has fixed a bug that blocked some people from getting through to 911 when they dialed for help on Pixel smartphones.

The problem was confirmed by the web giant last month after a woman described in a viral post on Reddit how the glitch prevented her from reaching emergency services when she thought her grandma was having a stroke. She told The Register her Pixel 3 phone didn’t ring when she dialed 911 and waited a few minutes before resorting to a landline phone.

On Tuesday Google said the bug affected devices running Android 10 and above with the Microsoft Teams app installed without being logged in. Now, the “fix for issue preventing emergency calls in certain conditions while some third-party apps are installed” has been rolled out, according to this month’s Pixel software update. Microsoft also released a patch for the bug on its Teams app last month.

However, Google did warn that its latest (and most expensive) handsets, the Pixel 6 and 6 Pro, won't be getting a fix immediately. Instead, that update will be rolled out "later in the month."

The latest software update fixes other Pixel problems too, like when users’ screens automatically unlock after receiving missed calls if they haven’t set a screen lock, and a memory leak in the system UI under certain conditions. These issues are patched in the 6 and 6 Pro handsets.

RIP legacy BlackBerry phones

In other mobile phone-related news: the classic BlackBerry phones with the iconic QWERTY keyboards are now all effectively out of luck.

“The legacy services for BlackBerry 7.1 OS and earlier, BlackBerry 10 software, BlackBerry PlayBook OS 2.1 and earlier versions, will no longer be available after January 4, 2022,” BlackBerry warned. “As of this date, devices running these legacy services and software through either carrier or Wi-Fi connections will no longer reliably function, including for data, phone calls, SMS and 911 functionality.”

The sleek phones best known for their tiny keyboards and instant messaging system gained popularity in the 2000s, but fell out of favor as smartphones moved to large touchscreens.

By 2016 BlackBerry’s executive chairman and CEO John Chen announced the company would become a software-only business. BlackBerry stopped making new phones and decided to license its mobile brand to TCL.

Newer Android-based Blackberry phones like TCL’s BlackBerry KEY2 released last year won’t be affected by this shutdown. ®


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