Ridiculously Simple Fix Gets Essential Android Auto Feature Up and Running Again

Android Auto Coolwalk interface 6 photos
Photo: Google
Android Auto Coolwalk interfaceAndroid Auto Coolwalk interfaceAndroid Auto Coolwalk interfaceAndroid Auto Coolwalk interfaceAndroid Auto Coolwalk interface
Just like CarPlay, Android Auto is supposed to provide users with an experience that is as convenient and straightforward as possible, not only for launching the app but also as far as the interaction with the entire list of features goes.
In other words, you don’t have to be a rocket scientist to figure out how to use certain capabilities on Android Auto, though as many people discovered the hard way, things can get a lot more complicated in the blink of an eye.

This is because features that work just fine right now can be completely broken a second later, all without users themselves changing anything on their side.

This is precisely what’s happening with the “Hey, Google” wake-up phrase that allows users to begin the voice interaction with Google Assistant.

Earlier this month, it was discovered that waking up Google Assistant no longer worked properly due to what seemed to be broken support for the “Hey, Google” phrase. While Google itself started an investigation to figure out what happens, users are the ones that are more efficient when it comes to finding workarounds.

And this time, the joint effort launched by the impacted users produced pretty good results.

More specifically, someone on Google’s forums discovered that the issue was caused by the most recent Google app update – on Android and Android Auto, the Google app is the one powering the digital assistant, so it’s responsible not only for the built-in capabilities but also for delivering further improvements.

The workaround, therefore, involves removing the most recent Google app update and then blocking it from getting re-installed on the Android device.

The steps to do the whole thing are ridiculously simple, and in many ways, it’s surprising to see such a basic workaround bringing things back to normal for an essential feature in Android Auto. Obviously, you should only use this hack until Google ships a full fix, at which point you should once again update the Google app to the latest version.

The first thing you need to do is to launch the Google Play Store on your mobile device and search for “Google”. Open the Play Store listing and then tap the uninstall button. Wait a few seconds until the process comes to an end, and everything should now work as expected on Android Auto. The last step, however, is mandatory if you don’t want the issue to return until a full patch is released: just make sure you uncheck the auto-update box to block the latest version of the Google app from getting installed automatically.

At this point, there’s no ETA as to when the fix is scheduled to go live, but given the investigation is still in its early days, you’d better not hold your breath for it.
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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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