Earlier this month, a widespread bug that appeared out of the blue caused Spotify to no longer display content in playlists when running on Android Auto.
Some users said only the podcast playlists were impacted, while others claimed that all their playlists were empty, with Spotify only displaying a generic "no items" message with no further error information.
Users have since tried the majority of generic workarounds available in the Android Auto world and eventually discovered that downgrading Spotify to an earlier release brings things back to normal. It was a sign that Android Auto wasn't the culprit, and the bug resided in Spotify.
The music streaming company started an investigation and came up with a quick fix, so the new version published on the Google Play Store a few hours ago addresses this error. I can confirm the "no items" message is gone after installing Spotify version 220.127.116.117 on my Android device, with the application running properly and correctly loading all content in playlists.
If you previously downgraded to an earlier Spotify version, you should re-enable automatic updates or manually install the latest build.
Meanwhile, Android Auto is also getting further improvements, though Google doesn't seem to be in a rush to bring them to everybody. Previous Android Auto builds included evidence that the company is working on a disconnect button for wireless connections.
If you already use Android Auto wireless connection, you probably know that the only way to disconnect your mobile device from the head unit today is to enable airplane mode or disable Bluetooth. Some head units also come with a disconnect button, but once you re-enable the Android Auto support, the connection with the main phone is re-established automatically.
As a result, if you have more than one phone in the car capable of running Android Auto, using a secondary device is quite a pain in the neck. If your wife wants to connect her phone to the head unit, your only option is to disable the Bluetooth mode on yours, in this case, you'll also disconnect other accessories, such as smartwatches.
Google will address this shortcoming with a dedicated disconnect button in the notification center on Android devices. The option is still in its early days, but it shouldn't take long before Google begins the rollout in the production channel.