Good Luck Explaining This New Android Auto Bug Breaking Down Voice Commands

The Android Auto interface 1 photo
Photo: Google
It’s no longer a secret that the experience with Android Auto depends on many factors, including the smartphone you use to power the whole thing, the cable, the head unit model, and how lucky you are.
Because yes, luck appears to be critical in how Android Auto runs in your car, as the same configuration can work perfectly fine for some while being completely broken for others.

Every once in a while, we come across Android Auto bugs that nobody can explain, and this appears to be the case today, as some users are now complaining that voice commands in their cars are broken down when using FM audio.

In other words, whenever FM is enabled in the car and Android Auto is running on the screen, using Google Assistant is pretty much impossible because voice commands are not recognized.

Whenever my head unit audio is set to FM source it will not allow me to trigger voice assistant when pressing the mic icon. The assistant/mic icon will show on my dashboard HUD, but nothing will show on my head unit and/or playback through the audio. FM Audio also does not lower its volume,” one user explains on Google’s forums.

There are both good news and bad news about the whole thing. The good news is the glitch doesn’t appear to be too widespread, as not a lot of people are hitting it - though it happens most often in Honda cars.

The bad news is the problem was originally reported many months ago but never received a fix, and at this point, an unofficial workaround bringing things back to normal still doesn’t seem to exist.

A specific Android Auto version is unlikely to be the culprit here, and someone says this weird behavior was introduced by Android 10, so now there’s a chance voice commands would once again work correctly when the update to Android 11 is installed on the affected smartphones.
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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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