Key Google Maps Feature Broken on Android Auto, These Painful Fixes Could Help

While Google Maps remains the number one option for people who are in search of a navigation solution on Android Auto, the recent experience with the app has been unrefined, to say the least.
Google Maps on Android Auto 7 photos
Photo: Google
Android Auto interfaceAndroid Auto interfaceAndroid Auto interfaceAndroid Auto interfaceAndroid Auto interfaceAndroid Auto interface
One of the key features of Google Maps has mysteriously disappeared, and while Google is investigating the whole thing, users are searching for all kinds of workarounds that could help deal with the shortcoming that this struggle is obviously causing.

First of all, let’s see what the problem is all about.

Google Maps on Android Auto is a match made in heaven. The navigation app unsurprisingly feels at home in the car, and the essential features already available on the mobile device have also landed on the bigger screen inside the cabin.

One of the features that many Android adopters use on a regular basis is support for opening links right on the Android Auto screen. In other words, if you receive a link on your phone, tapping it on the mobile device sets up a new destination on Android Auto too.

And here’s why this capability comes in so handy to some users.

Android Auto interface
Photo: Google
If someone sends you an address on WhatsApp, for instance, you can just tap the link in Google Maps and then start the navigation on your mobile device. Thanks to this feature, the new destination is then transferred to Android Auto, so you can start navigating in just a few seconds.

Without the support for mobile links, such a thing would be pretty much impossible, as users would just have to set up the new destination manually.

For some users, such a feature is critical. Just think of those working in the delivery business who are working with Google Maps links regularly. If this capability isn’t working right, then using Google Maps on Android Auto can easily become a painful struggle.

And this is exactly what’s happening right now. The support for Google Maps links appears to be broken down on Google Maps, so users can no longer open the navigation on their mobile devices and then transfer the destination to Android Auto.

Nobody knows exactly what’s happening, and while Google says it’s currently investigating, users come across various workarounds that more or less help deal with this problem temporarily.

Android Auto interface
Photo: Google
There are basically two different ways to use the Google Maps links until a patch lands.

First and foremost, it’s the logical yet super-inconvenient solution. Just disconnect your mobile device from the head unit, set up the navigation on the phone, and then connect it to launch Android Auto once again. When opening Google Maps on display, Google Maps should be ready to provide guidance to the already-configured destination.

And then, it looks like downgrading Google Maps to an earlier version does the trick for now. In other words, you need to disable the app, uninstall all updates, and therefore stick with an older build of Google Maps that doesn’t exhibit the bug.

Of course, if you have automatic updates enabled on your phone, it’s just a matter of time until the latest version is installed for Google Maps. So don’t forget to disable this feature as well, just to make sure Google Maps isn’t automatically updated to the latest version that’s impacted by the problem.

For the time being, there is no estimate as to when Google could come up with a fix, so if the mobile links are a must-have feature for you, these two solutions are pretty much the only ways to get them up and running at this point.

Nevertheless, if you don’t want to struggle with such painful workarounds, you can just switch to another application, such as Waze, currently running flawlessly on Android Auto.
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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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