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

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 …

  1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

    Presumably only an American problem?

    If in need of medical services they can just turn to Facebook research?

    Or if being forced to use Teams on their phone just pray for the sweet release of death

    1. DS999 Silver badge

      Re: Presumably only an American problem?

      Not necessarily. If the code involved was basically supposed to check "if number == emergency_number[COUNTRY_CODE]" the same bug could affect 999/112 in the UK/EU and so forth.

      1. MJB7

        Re: Presumably only an American problem?

        I think the test is actually `if number in {999, 911, 112, etc}`. In other words, if a Brit goes to Europe and dials 999, they will still get connected to emergency services. (And visa versa). This strikes me as a VERY GOOD THING; people dialling emergency services are extremely likely to be panicing.

      2. Version 1.0 Silver badge
        Joke

        Re: Presumably only an American problem?

        Check the new code fix to see if it's been set to work in all countries:

        "if number == emergency_number[COUNTRY_CODE] post on twitter"

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: Presumably only an American problem?

          I know in the USA dialing 112 (the GSM standard emergency number) doesn't necessarily connect to 911 - the 911 service is locally operated so everything varies.

          Dialing 911 works in most european countries because the phone system routes it to the emergency services as a safety feature for US visitors

          1. Mike 16

            Ain't necessarily so

            ---

            I know in the USA dialing 112 (the GSM standard emergency number) doesn't necessarily connect to 911

            ---

            FWIW, Neither does dialing 911. Even in the middle of a city after being rear-ended (while stopped) by a driver who fled the scene.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Presumably only an American problem?

      Luckily 0118 999 881 999 119 725 3 still works fine.

      1. David 132 Silver badge

        Re: Presumably only an American problem?

        Or email.

        “Dear Sir or Madam,

        Fire! Please send help”, etc…

        EDIT: D’oh, I see someone beat me to this reference 4 hours ago. I will leave this comment up intact as a monument to my folly and haste.

  2. sabroni Silver badge

    They don't test very well

    "when users’ screens automatically unlock after receiving missed calls if they haven’t set a screen lock"

    Cue a flurry of comments about how Google don't have any testers anymore and just release stuff to the public to test?

    Or is that just when it's MS?

    1. Kapsalon
      Facepalm

      Re: They don't test very well

      I for one have never received a missed call.

  3. MJI Silver badge

    I always though 999 for emergencies and 911 for the Porsche dealer

    Isn't that most peoples thoughts about the number 911, except of course for fans of the Talbot Sunbeam where it is the 2.2 slant 4?

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    her Pixel 3 phone didn’t ring when she dialed 911 and waited a few minutes before resorting to a landline phone

    I know stress/panic can cause people to behave a bit oddly, but I would have hoped that if I was in that situation then I'd go straight for the landline rather than thinking "I'll give it a few minutes"

    1. David 132 Silver badge
      Happy

      Depends whether you’re named as a beneficiary in the will of the person having the medical emergency.

      “My Pixel isn’t working to call 999! Don’t worry, Uncle Scrooge, I will walk down to the post office immediately and send a second-class letter to the emergency services!”

  5. Captain Scarlet
    Big Brother

    Thats odd

    I received an email from Google about this, however my Pixel phone was removed from my account over 5 years ago.

    hmm

  6. myithingwontcharge

    Didn't they see the advert?

    From today, the new number is 0118 999 881 999 119 725 3.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Re: Didn't they see the advert?

      Or just email them.

  7. beekir

    Pixel Android 12 Experience is Bad

    My once beloved Pixel has become a frustrating battery-operated piece of garbage since the Android 12 update. There are bugs lurking on every screen and menu.

    It's no surprise to me that they haven't yet fixed this failure to dial 911 their latest flagship model.

    1. Hans Neeson-Bumpsadese Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: Pixel Android 12 Experience is Bad

      I feel your pain as I upgraded my Pixel recently.

      Some of the new gestures in the Android 12 took a lot of getting used to, and are so far removed from corresponding functionality in other versions of Android. Most frustratingly I have a Samsung tablet with an older version of Android (and no sign of any updates from Samsung) - as my muscle memory adapts to Android 12 I keep finding myself repeatedly swiping left on the tablet and wondering why nothing happens...then remembering that I should just press the 'back' button

  8. keithpeter Silver badge

    Blackberry Classic(*)...

    ...sends/receives sms messages, emails and phone calls in the UK today Jan 5th 2022.

    This stuff about Blackberries was a US thing wasn't it?

    (*) See icon. It works well and was cheap and I like the keyboard.

  9. TheRealRoland
    Unhappy

    Gotta dust off my Playbooks :-(

    And see what's still working. End of an era :-(

    Those Titans, not the Pocket Titans, anyone using them with Verizon in the US? I know the camera will be crap, compared to my Pixel 3a XL, but to have that keyboard, and the shortcuts, and all that good tactile typing again...

    1. JimboSmith Silver badge

      Re: Gotta dust off my Playbooks :-(

      I still use a Bold 9700 for calls and texts. The great thing is if I get a text with a link in it (normally for me these are scams) the link can't take me anywhere to download the 'nasty' as there's no BIS service anymore.

      1. David 132 Silver badge
        Mushroom

        Re: Gotta dust off my Playbooks :-(

        if I get a text with a link in it (normally for me these are scams)

        Ah yes. My particular bugbears at the moment are

        “AT&T Free Message: thanks for paying your December bill, click here for your free gift hfbrhr.trbi/qwigrh”

        “FRED your free $9341.27 cash is waiting, click here…”

        Both oh so convincing and tempting. Of course it makes perfect sense that AT&T would use a scummy URL that looks like a drunken monkey pounded on a Dvorak keyboard. And of course I will take up an offer of unsolicited cash addressed to someone else, with an equally reputable and not scummy at all URL.

        1. JimboSmith Silver badge

          Re: Gotta dust off my Playbooks :-(

          I've been getting the "you need to pay for your package delivery" ones recently. I'm self isolating the only deliveries I'm taking at the moment are food. Therefore telling me I have to pay extra to receive my groceries smacks of a scam. Especially as these SMS have a habit of arriving after my food has arrived.

  10. Stuart Castle Silver badge

    Ahh Blackberries

    Never had one myself, but I've got a few friends who said they were basically the best phones ever.

    However, I think Blackberry, in England at least, was finished off by the 2011 riots. IIRC, a lot of the groups rioting used BBM to co-ordinate their actions, and a lot of Blackberry users were put off of using something the rioters would have used. This may also have put a lot of enterprise users off. If you are managing communications for a multi million pound corporation, you might not like being linked with riots.

    Also, I think the fact that they could do all sorts of other stuff on Android and iOS (such as play games etc) helped the non-rioting users off the platform.

    The kinds of people who would start riots were likely put off by the apparent ease with which the Police got access to the logs of BBM.

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