Google Play VoIP Apps may block 911 calls on Android smartphones [How to avoid this problem]

“Avoid using third-party VoIP apps from Google Play on your Android OS smartphones,” says a recent warning/recommendation from a wireless service company based in Canada. The warning came following reports about some wireless customers using VoIP-based applications (apps) including Skype and Viber on their Android phones, encountering issues with dialing 9-1-1 after downloading the app.

As initially reported by the Canadian Wireless Telecommunications Association (CWTA), some wireless customers who have downloaded and installed any of the aforementioned VoIP apps on their Android smartphones were unable to reach 9-1-1 afterwards.

So far, Google has already been notified about this issue affecting wireless service customers and the Internet giant said they are currently working on a fix with their Google Play developers.

While waiting for Google Play devs to come up with a solution to the emerging problem, Android phone users are strongly advised not to use any VoIP apps from Google Play to be their default dialer until Google is able to get this issue fixed. To make sure 911 calls can get through, customers are advised to configure their Android phone settings with the following steps:

Step 1. Check your device’s System Settings by selecting Settings on your Android smartphone.

Step 2. You will then be prompted with a list of options. Scroll down and select Applications  (also labelled as Application Manager or Apps) on the next screen.

Step 3. From the Application Manager (Applications), locate and select the phone dialer app that is set as default for dialing calls on your phone. Examples of a phone dialer application are Viber and Skype.

Step 4. Locate the “Launch by default” section and click the Clear defaults button. This should erase the default app set on your device.

NOTE: Do not dial 911 to test your phone.

Aside from configuring your Android phone with the aforesaid settings, choosing a native phone dialer to place calls is highly recommended as well. The issue on 911 calls with VoIP apps only affects Android OS devices.

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