Fixing Android Auto Sometimes Comes Down to Weird Workarounds Like This One

It’s no longer a secret that the experience with Android Auto depends on so many factors, and unfortunately for us, the users, there’s not much we can do to bring everything back to full working condition.
Android Auto home screen 1 photo
Photo: Screenshot from YouTube video
As we learned the hard way, the problems that we come across when using Android Auto don’t always come down to the app itself but to the related services that it needs to run properly.

In other words, if something’s wrong with voice commands on Android Auto, there’s a chance the Google app is the one to blame, as it’s powering Google Assistant everywhere in Google’s ecosystem. At the same time, if you notice a problem with navigation apps or music player, the culprit may be none other than Google Play Services, as the latest version is always required for everything to run properly.

This is why the issue and the fix we’re going to discuss today don’t necessarily come as a big surprise in the Android Auto world.

The problem

As we told you earlier this month, Samsung’s Galaxy S21 is the latest and greatest Android smartphone on the market, shipping with upgraded cameras, and a new processor, more RAM and storage, and improved everything. And it all makes sense. This is Samsung’s flagship product, so it spearheads the company’s push in the smartphone world.

But given it runs Android, it’s prone to the same problems as all the other devices powered by Google’s operating system. Including connectivity issues, that is.

While the Galaxy S21 has only recently started shipping, users have already discovered that connecting the device to a head unit to run Android Auto isn’t working as expected.

And as it turns out, this glitch is tied to another problem with Android Auto and which users also reported earlier this month. This time, more phones experienced the whole thing, as they ended up rebooting all of a sudden when launching Android Auto.

The fix

In theory, a connectivity problem on Android Auto comes down to trying out a new cable and other generic fixes, like reinstalling the app, clearing the cache and the data, and rebooting phones.

But this time, it’s different, as someone has discovered that the problem isn’t tied to Android Auto directly but to Google Chrome, the browser that comes bundled with Android on all devices running Google’s mobile operating system.

And the fix isn’t necessarily the most convenient, but at least it does the trick temporarily.

It all comes down to uninstalling the latest Chrome updates, as one of the most recent releases is believed to cause the connectivity problems mentioned above.

So here’s what you need to do – the steps here are detailed for a Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra, but they should be similar for the other Android devices out there.

First and foremost, on your Android phone, open the Settings screen and scroll down to Apps. Look for Chrome in the list and then tap it to expand all options. You should now see all the information about the Chrome app installed on your device, so tap the three-dot button in the top right corner and then Uninstall all updates.

At this point, the browser should return to the original version, so if you were using Chrome to navigate the web, you’re losing the improvements brought by the latest updates. But on the other hand, Android Auto should now be up and running again.

Google hasn’t yet provided any information on a possible fix for the problems mentioned above, so if you too struggle with the same thing in your car, maybe giving this workaround a try is worth it, especially if Chrome isn’t your default browser on Android.
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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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