Android Auto Now Blocks Users From Adjusting Music Volume

The bug breaks down audio controls 15 photos
Photo: Bogdan Popa/autoevolution/Google forums
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I've seen maybe hundreds of Android Auto bugs, but some of them don't make any sense at all. This new one is certainly part of this group, as it blocks users from adjusting the music volume because God knows why.
The problem was first reported in the second half of August when someone turned to Google's forums to complain that volume control is disabled in their vehicle when Android Auto is running.

The user explained that the bug takes place at the infotainment system level, not just in Android Auto, so they still can't adjust the volume level even if they're using a different app outside Android Auto. It only happens as long as the mobile device is connected to the head unit and Android Auto is running, including in the background.

The error these users get is also mysterious. "Audio paused. Volume will not be adjusted," the error message reads. However, the music is still playing in the background, so the audio isn't paused. What's paused is users' ability to adjust the volume until they disconnect the mobile device and, therefore, shut down Android Auto.

Google has already chimed in, with a Community Specialist asking for additional information earlier this month. Google needs phone logs to determine what happens, so if you also encounter the same problem, you know what you have to do.

It's unclear if the generic workarounds produce an improvement, but the first thing I'd try is a downgrade to an earlier Android Auto version. Going back a few builds could help restore the expected behavior, especially if a new Android Auto update introduced the glitch.

A similar bug happened last year in the CarPlay world. Users could not adjust the audio volume on CarPlay as long as Waze was running. The bug affected the entire CarPlay experience, even if Waze wasn't in focus. Users had to force-close Waze on their iPhones to regain audio control on CarPlay, as otherwise, the application blocked the option and did not allow any adjustments.

The issue was eventually resolved with a Waze update, but it's unclear if a certain app could be responsible for the similar error hitting Android Auto.

The only good news is that the bug doesn't seem widespread, with only a small number of users reporting it on the forums. Their number is probably higher, as not everyone turns to Google's support groups to report bugs, but the issue is unlikely to be widespread anyway. The most recent Android Auto version (build 10.5) doesn't correct the bug, so Google is probably still looking into the feedback. It's too early to tell when a fix could go live, but I wouldn't hold my breath, considering the investigation is still in the early phases.
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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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