The Mysterious Android Auto Bug Users Can’t Even Complain About

Android Auto home screen 6 photos
Photo: Screenshot from YouTube video
The new Android Auto UIThe new Android Auto UIThe new Android Auto UIThe new Android Auto UIThe new Android Auto UI
Being an Android Auto user is hard, there’s no doubt about it. Major updates no longer seem to land on time, as the Coolwalk overhaul is still nowhere to be seen, despite Google promising to ship it during the summer.
And then, there are the occasional bugs that show up out of nowhere and which, way too often, end up being ignored by Google. Users are more often than not left all alone in their attempts to find fixes, as the official patches take months or sometimes even years to be released publicly.

But as far as these patches are concerned, there are bugs that not even Google seems to be interested in fixing. And one of them was signaled by one of our readers earlier this week.

First of all, let’s see precisely what this bug is all about.

One of the main features of Android Auto is the support for handling calls, so drivers wouldn’t have to reach for their phones to answer or make a call. Google Assistant is in charge of everything, though picking up a phone call with touch on the head unit is also possible, even while in motion.

The new Android Auto UI
Photo: Google
However, phone calls are occasionally broken on Android Auto, though the culprit isn’t always the same. Google Assistant is very often the one to blame, while in some cases, a bad cable is the one that breaks down the feature.

One of the most common glitches impacting phone calls on Android Auto causes the audio to be sent to the phone speaker instead of the car’s stereo system. In other words, when you’re getting a call and answering it from Android Auto (regardless of the used method), the call’s audio is directed to the speaker of the mobile device. By default, Android Auto should send the audio to the car’s speakers.

What’s odd is that everything else appears to be working properly on Android Auto, with the sound from Spotify or other apps sent to the car’s speaker.

This uncanny Android Auto behavior has been around for a while, and at first glance, Google has a hard time fixing it. But is the search giant actually interested in dealing with the whole thing? It certainly doesn’t seem like it is.

The new Android Auto UI
Photo: Google
Sending feedback related to the broken phone calls on Google’s forums is no longer possible. Posts that report the glitch are automatically closed by Google’s Community Specialists and marked as a duplicate.

One such post was published this weekend, and while a member of the Android Auto team actually asked for more details, another moderator closed the discussion thread and marked it as duplicate. This means the original poster can no longer reply, and other users are not allowed to chime in and comment on the post.

Oddly enough, the thread now links to another discussion on the Google forums where users are reporting the same problem, but once again, new posts are no longer allowed. In other words, Google’s forum moderators are blocking reports on an issue because they are duplicates, but at the same time, they no longer allow users to reply in the original discussion thread either.

As far as the bug itself is concerned, Google is yet to ship a fix. A member of the Android Auto Team and Community Specialist said back in May that developers weren’t able to reproduce the reported glitch, eventually asking for more feedback from users in order to continue the investigation.

No further update on the work in this regard has been offered since then, so given users are no longer allowed to post new questions related to this bug, it’s easy to understand why the frustration is growing.

We have reached out to Google for more information on the bug and will update the article when and if we hear back.
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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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