Android Auto Stuck with Mysterious “Test Screen,” No Need to Panic

Uncanny error message generated by Android Auto 6 photos
Photo: reddit user Brent_Fournier69
Android Auto interfaceAndroid Auto interfaceAndroid Auto interfaceAndroid Auto interfaceAndroid Auto interface
If you’re using Android Auto and just got stuck with a mysterious “test screen” message on your smartphone, you are not alone.
A few hours ago, Android Auto started exhibiting what seems to be a very uncanny error that makes it impossible for users to run the app after the mobile device is connected to the head unit in their cars.

More precisely, once the connection is established, the message “test screen” shows up on the mobile device, blocking Android Auto from launching. More often than not, the head unit either doesn’t change or switches to a black screen waiting for Android Auto to launch.

There are several posts online (here and here) reporting the same behavior, and it goes without saying nobody knows exactly what happens and how to bring things back to normal.

The first thing you should know is the error only happens on Android Auto beta builds (some say it’s limited to daily releases, but I’m also seeing people reporting the same glitch on standard beta builds).

In other words, if you’re part of the stable channel, the error shouldn’t show up.

The beta program has been specifically released to allow power users to try out new Android Auto releases early, so all builds shipped as part of this effort obviously come with an increased likelihood of issues. This is the case of this mysterious test screen, so at the end of the day, it’s a good thing it’s being reported before making its way to production builds.

If you’re struggling with the same message, the easiest way to fix it is to just go back to a stable version of Android Auto. Downgrading to an earlier release that worked fine should also do the trick.

Google hasn’t acknowledged the error given it happens in beta builds, but the next update shipped to testers should theoretically bring things back to normal.
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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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