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Android Auto Suddenly Harder to Use at Night, Auto Dark Mode Broken Down

In some new cars out there, the visual mode on Android Auto can follow the settings of the head unit, which in their turn, are based on the current status of the headlights.
Android Auto can automatically switch to dark mode based on phone settings 6 photos
Android Auto interfaceAndroid Auto interfaceAndroid Auto interfaceAndroid Auto interfaceAndroid Auto interface
In other words, when your car’s headlights are turned off, the head unit (and therefore Android Auto, too) uses the day mode. When the headlights turn on, which typically happens when driving at night, the head unit itself activates the dark mode, and so does Android Auto too.

However, this isn’t always the behavior in all cars out there, and this is why Google itself introduced a dedicated feature that allowed Android Auto to switch from the day to night mode and the other way around based on the settings of the phone.

This means that the mobile device was the one to decide whether Android Auto switched to the dark mode or not, and for most users, this made perfect sense because they could therefore get more control over the UI of the app in the first place.

However, many users are now complaining that the phone-controlled automatic day/night switching no longer works, and what’s more, it often switches to “car-controlled” when the app shuts down. A discussion thread here on Google’s forums indicates that the head unit is once again the one that’s providing the instructions on which mode to use, and more often than not, this isn’t the right way to go.

Someone explains that some new cars with factory-installed DRL instruct Android Auto to use the dark mode. This means the app is much harder to use during the day because everything is barely visible, and manually switching to the day mode makes Android Auto a big mess at night.

Right now, nobody seems to know what exactly to do, other than forcing Android Auto to use a specific mode for each instance of the app. The settings, however, are lost when the app closes.


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