Android Auto 9.6 Fixes One of the Biggest Bugs Ever

New Android Auto version is live 15 photos
Photo: Bogdan Popa/autoevolution
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Google doesn’t typically release changelogs for new Android Auto versions, but the recent update seems to come with a major patch.
Samsung Galaxy S22 owners claim Android Auto is finally working correctly on their devices, more than a year after the connection issue was first reported to Google.

Launched in early 2022, Samsung Galaxy S22 was, at that point, the best Android device on the market. As a high-end model with a price tag exceeding $1,000, Galaxy S22 Ultra was supposed to deliver the full feature package from the very beginning.

Unfortunately, many buyers rapidly figured out the hard way that running Android Auto on this high-end device wasn't possible, as for some reason, the app failed to detect the connection between the mobile device and the head unit.

The bug has been around ever since, despite several attempts at fixing it. Google and Samsung rolled out multiple patches, but even so, Android Auto still failed to work on a Galaxy S22.

I know what you're thinking. "But… but… Android Auto has always worked fine on my Samsung Galaxy S22." The first thing you must know is that the glitch did not impact all devices. In fact, this was the confusing part of the problem, as Samsung and Google had a hard time figuring out who was affected and why.

The updates released in the last 12 months somehow improved the experience but failed to resolve the bug completely. Some Galaxy S22 owners still struggled with intermittent issues, eventually being unable to make the most of their Android Auto-compatible head units.

The final fix reportedly landed with the release of Android Auto 9.6, the version now rolling out to users in stages. Google ships the update in stages through the Google Play Store, so it could take a while until everybody gets it.

If you, too, have a Samsung Galaxy S22 and don't want to wait to get this highly anticipated update (which makes perfect sense given you've been waiting for this fix for more than a year), you can update Android Auto manually. To do this, you must download the stand-alone APK installer for version 9.6 and then manually update the application on your device.

Neither Samsung nor Google confirmed the latest Android Auto update fixes this bug, so I reached out to both companies for additional information on this front. In the meantime, however, I'm seeing confirmation from Galaxy S22 owners that everything is indeed working properly after installing app version 9.6.

Unfortunately, the patch isn't yet ported to Samsung Galaxy S23. The latest-generation Galaxy S23 is also struggling with Android Auto, with the connection to the head unit also broken down, so it remains to be seen if a new big fix is coming or not.
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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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