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Android Auto Blamed for Broken Steering Wheel Controls

There are many things Google needs to improve in Android Auto, and according to users who installed version 5.8 (released in November), the support for steering wheel controls is one of them.
Spotify on the full version of Android Auto 1 photo
More specifically, several people explain on Google’s forums that controlling the music playback in Spotify no longer works from the steering wheel for whatever reason whenever Android Auto is running.

Oddly enough, closing Android Auto and relying on the Bluetooth connection alone does the trick, and this made many believe the update to version 5.8 is the culprit. It’s not yet clear, however, if Android Auto 5.9 (dated December 2020) brings things back to normal.

The bug only seems to concern Android Auto for phones connected via Bluetooth and not the fully featured version of Android Auto. Users claim that closing the app and playing music wirelessly via Spotify is the only way to resolve the issue.

The glitch doesn’t appear related in any way to the model of the phone running Android Auto, as the same behavior has been reported on Samsung, Huawei, and devices from other brands.

I'm also seeing this behavior in 5.8.604354 - The forward and back controls on my steering wheel or in the infotainment system do not function, those on the screen do. Those within the Auto app do appear to work. If I close the Auto app and use Spotify itself, the buttons work. I use the Auto app connected via Bluetooth to an '18 Nissan Qashqai, on a Galaxy S20+,” one user explains on the Google forums.

The search company is yet to acknowledge this problem, so right now, users are all alone in their attempt to resolve the whole thing.

However, if you’re certain Android Auto 5.8 is the one that introduced the issue, the easiest way to deal with it is to downgrade to an earlier release. Also, you should try to install version 5.9 and see if it makes a difference when it comes to playing music on Spotify via Bluetooth.


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