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The Android Auto Bug That Made Buying a New Car the Only Option
In theory, a Google phone is supposed to provide the best possible experience with Android Auto, but as many users discovered the hard way, this isn’t necessarily the case after the update to Android 11.

The Android Auto Bug That Made Buying a New Car the Only Option

Android Auto home screenGoogle Pixel 5Android Auto home screen
Released last year with massive improvements, some of which were aimed at Android Auto directly, Android 11 ended up providing a crazy rollercoaster ride for those who connect their phones to their cars when getting behind the wheel.

And it’s all because this operating system has caused quite a plethora of problems on Android Auto, including several that are seemingly still around these days, as Google is already giving the finishing touches to another major operating system update.

So in other words, Android 12 is just around the corner, but all the Android Auto bugs on Android 11 are yet to be fixed, so users can only hope the next OS release would provide a more stable and reliable experience going forward.

The Google Pixel struggles

But getting back to the Google Pixel problems on Android Auto, there’s one glitch that was reported last year in September and which apparently is still around today.

This one causes Android Auto to no longer launch on a Google Pixel phone running Android 11, with several users confirming on Google’s forums that the same behavior is hitting their devices too.

I can confirm that I have been having connection issues as well. Google Pixel 2 XL and a 2019 Honda CRV. A few weeks ago it would connect quickly and consistently. Now, I have to unplug and replug the USB cable multiple times to have Android Auto finally load on the head unit. Tried 3 known high-quality cables (including the one I have been using for the last year) with the same issue,” Android Auto user Eric Bazerghi explained on the forums.

The problem wasn’t only specific to a certain car brand, as it impacted various models, including those made by Honda, Jaguar, Kia, Subaru, and others.

The Google response

Google’s Android Auto team originally chimed in shortly after the first bug reports made their way to the web, with the company providing various recommendations, including a full factory reset of the head unit.

Needless to say, this didn’t make any difference, with users explaining that Android Auto just doesn’t launch no matter if the phone and the head units have both been reset and then updated to the latest software versions.

Most recently, Google returned to ask users if the problem is still around, and as it turns out, it still is, unfortunately with no new fix in sight.

While the problem appears to be gone for some, others claim Android Auto still doesn’t launch on a Google Pixel despite all the updates that have been released recently.

The (extreme) workarounds

It goes without saying that Pixel owners have tried pretty much everything to get Android Auto up and running on their devices after installing Android 11.

Including the recommended reset, that is, though as I said already, this didn’t make much difference. Others tried different cables, downgrading to earlier versions of Android Auto, and re-pairing the phones and the head units, cleaning the USB ports, and various software tricks, all to no avail.

Some of the users who joined the thread on Google’s forums claim they ended up embracing a rather extreme workaround. Someone says they ended up buying a new car after struggling to fix the whole thing not only on their own but also with help from professional mechanics.

There was no solution to this problem that I could identify asking experts and dealerships. I ended up getting a new car. No joke,” they say.

One Android user claims they eventually replaced the previous Pixel with the latest-generation model and everything is working correctly, while someone else says they purchased a Samsung and Android Auto is now running as expected.

Google hasn’t provided any new information as to whether it’s still working on any new fixes for this problem and how widespread it continues to be.


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