Android Auto Suffers From Amnesia, Forgets How to Read Messages

Android Auto UI 1 photo
Photo: Google
One of the best things about Google Assistant on Android Auto is that it allows users to control certain features without touch input, all with the help of voice commands.
But as many of us learned the hard way, this is only valid when the whole thing works, as very often, voice commands end up broken down for no clear reason.

This is what happened in the last days of 2020 when some users discovered that Google Assistant no longer knows how to read incoming messages and only wants to reply to them.

In other words, impacted users say they receive messages while driving, they tap the notification to have Google Assistant read the text, and then they are asked if they want to reply without the message actually being read.

This apparently happens for various apps, not just for the default messaging client, so there’s a chance it’s a problem either in the Google app or in Android Auto itself.

My friend messaged me again using Facebook Messenger (latest version) and when I clicked the notification, no message was read out, but Google Assistant asked ‘Would you like to reply?’ Then a text message came in via Messages app (latest version). I clicked that and it acted like it might read the message but after a short pause without reading it out it asked, ‘Would you like to reply?’ At the next stop light I looked in both apps and it showed that I received message content in both apps and messages and Android Auto just didn't read the messages,” one user explained.

If you want to see the glass half full, then it's worth mentioning that Google has already responded in the linked thread, as the Android Auto team has apparently started an investigation of the bug.

If and when a fix could be given the go-ahead is something that remains to be seen, but for now, there’s no workaround to bring everything back to normal.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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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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