Google Starts Investigating Widespread Android Auto Bug Hitting Samsung Devices

Google has recently started looking into a bug causing Android Auto to fail to run when a Samsung phone is used to power the in-car experience.
Samsung phones plagued by connectivity issues on Android Auto 15 photos
Photo: Bogdan Popa/autoevolution/Samsung
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A video posted on Twitter last week by tech reporter Max Weinbach shows Android Auto working correctly with a Google Pixel phone but unable to start with Samsung phones.

The application needs just a few seconds to load every time a Google Pixel is connected with a cable to the Android Auto-compatible head unit. However, Android Auto no longer launches when Weinbach plugs in Samsung phones, though the connection is detected and the devices start charging. The issue has already been confirmed with multiple Samsung devices, including a Galaxy S23 Ultra, a Galaxy Flip, and a Galaxy Fold.

The video has gone viral, with several other Android Auto users confirming similar struggles in comments posted on the social network.

Weinbach says the Android Auto team reached out to debug the problem, with an investigation currently underway.

Google looking into what happens is good news, but Android Auto connectivity problems with Samsung devices are nothing new. Similar issues were reported in the past for the Samsung Galaxy S22 series, with active threads already receiving hundreds of upvotes and comments for newer phone models, including the Galaxy S23 Ultra (here, here, and here).

Google has already chimed in on the forums, at one point claiming that the behavior is limited to Volkswagen cars. The company acknowledged the bug in March, explaining that the infotainment system was responsible for the connectivity problem. The issue was supposed to be resolved with a software update shipped by Volkswagen for multiple models sold under the Volkswagen, Skoda, and SEAT brands.

Weinbach says the bug occurs in a 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee.

The generic workarounds that Android Auto users typically turn to in an attempt to resolve connectivity problems didn't make a difference in this case and failed to produce an improvement. Clearing the cache, deleting the app, and changing the USB connectivity options don't bring Android Auto back to a working state with Samsung devices.

Google has so far remained tight-lipped on the investigation, but considering the bug affects various Samsung phone models, the number of users struggling with the problem is likely big. However, not everybody is affected, as I'm seeing reports from Samsung phone owners, including people who bought the models not working with Android Auto in the video, claiming that everything runs as expected.

It's also unclear if the car and the infotainment system could be responsible for the connectivity glitch. While the test shows that Android Auto runs correctly with non-Samsung phones, users who reported the problems on other feedback channels, including Google's forums, claimed the application launched as expected with the same Samsung devices in other vehicles.
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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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