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A Match Not Made in Heaven: Android 14 Breaks Down Android Auto in New Cars

Android 14 isn't the operating system update that Android Auto users expected, as the new release caused a new wave of problems in their cars, including broken connectivity.
2023 BMW owners struggling with Android Auto 86 photos
Photo: Bogdan Popa/autoevolution
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If you've used Android Auto for more than a few days, you should know that Google's application sometimes breaks down without you even touching the phone or the screen. The mysterious reliability glitches hitting Android Auto were supposed to go away with the launch of new updates, so most users were excited to learn that a new major operating system version started rolling out.

Android 14 brings lots of improvements to mobile users and a few refinements for the experience in the car. However, it seems to cause more harm than good in the Android Auto world, where it's causing connectivity struggles even in cars that literally just rolled off the assembly lines.

A long discussion thread on Google's forums is the home of hundreds of Android Auto users who ended up hitting connection problems after updating their devices to Android 14.

The most frustrating post comes from a fresh BMW X1 owner who purchased the car earlier this week only to discover that Android Auto doesn't work. The customer took the car to the BMW dealer to have it inspected, and the mechanics tried all fixes to no avail.

The connection was powered by a Google Pixel, which is even more frustrating, considering a Google smartphone should theoretically offer the most stable and reliable experience with another Google product. It doesn't, and shortly after trying all the generic workarounds, including clearing the cache and everything else, the mechanics attempted to run Android Auto with a smartphone that hasn't yet been updated to Android 14.

Shocker, as Android Auto, launched instantly when a Samsung Galaxy phone running Android 13 was connected to the infotainment system. The mechanics came down to a simple conclusion: Android 14 is the culprit, and BMW's software can't be blamed for the connectivity issue. The new car owner says they purchased a 2023 vehicle and a brand-new Google Pixel 8 Pro specifically to benefit from the best experience. Android Auto is broken in their car, and it's unclear if and when Google could come up with a fix.

Meanwhile, no workaround is available, but many users who struggle with Android 14 in their cars switched to other devices running Android 13 temporarily. It isn't the most convenient solution, but considering an Android 14 device can't get Android Auto to run, it's the only way to have Google Maps and Waze on the infotainment screen.

Google has already chimed in and asked for more information about the bug, but it's unclear if an investigation is underway and when users could get the highly anticipated patch.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
Bogdan Popa profile photo

Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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