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Why You Can’t Answer Response Group Calls on Skype for Business Mobile

By June 26, 2017September 16th, 2020Blog, Microsoft, Skype for Business
skype for business mobile app on phone

If your organization uses Skype for Business response groups, you may have noticed something weird if you also use the Skype for Business mobile Android or iOS clients. A call will ring in on the mobile client, but when you try to answer it, you get no audio.

This is not a bug. At the time of this blog post, Microsoft doesn’t actually support response groups on mobile clients. The official fix is to use the desktop version of the app.

While this begs some questions (like why do response group calls ring on mobile clients if you know you can’t answer them), hopefully this post will prevent you wasting any more time trying to figure out why this doesn’t work. It doesn’t work because Microsoft hasn’t implemented that feature (yet?).

Knowing that answering Skype for Business calls on Android phones or iPhones is impossible also might lead one to ask, “Well, if I can’t do it that way, is there a workaround?”

The only thing I’ve gotten to work so far is using Skype for Business as a published RemoteApp in the Microsoft Remote Desktop client for either Android or iOS. However, while this is good enough for features like persistent chat (which also isn’t implemented on the mobile clients, and with the advent of Microsoft Teams, probably never will be), the latency from your phone to the RDP server to the Skype servers to your caller and back is just too much for voice. It works, but it’s like talking to someone on the moon.

So for now, we wait. Microsoft claims to be going “mobile first, cloud first,” so you might think that using mobile phones with their telephony system would be a priority.

Jeff Kirvin, PEI


  • Eric Concepcion says:

    Hi Jeff, thanks for info as we have been trying to see if this is possible. Wondering if they will ever update this functionality anytime soon. I have another questions if this does not work would it also be the same if we trying using SfB client and setting up simultaneous ring for one of our users and getting same results? Is this expected as well

    • Jeff Kirvin says:

      The last time I tried simultaneous ring, it didn’t work either. As I understand it, the problem is that Microsoft hasn’t built the code on the mobile clients to report back that a call has been answered and stop ringing on the other extensions. The hand off to mobile is a one-way trip, even if it’s to the app rather than a mobile number. And given that S4B is being replaced by Teams, it’s unlikely that this will ever be fixed in the S4B app. Hopefully they will build the Teams mobile experience to be a peer to the desktop experience rather than a mere satellite.

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