This Bug Makes a Good Case for Not Listening to Music on Android Auto

The voice support is not only a key feature of Android Auto but also an essential capability that helps the app serve its purpose behind the wheel.
Spotify on Android Auto 6 photos
Photo: Google
Android Auto interfaceAndroid Auto interfaceAndroid Auto interfaceAndroid Auto interfaceAndroid Auto interface
With voice commands, users can just focus on the road ahead and therefore interact with Android Auto without having to look at the screen. They help reduce the distraction, while drivers can safely play music, use the navigation app, make phone calls, and send messages with minimum effort.

But there are times when the voice commands are broken down, not necessarily due to a bug in Android Auto but because of various problems with third-party apps. And this time, the one that’s causing the whole thing is the world’s most popular music streaming service.

Spotify is apparently producing quite a mess behind the wheel for some Android Auto users, as it keeps playing music at a time when the playback should be paused.

Users explain here on Google’s forums that Spotify interrupts their interaction with Google Assistant, as the playing music isn’t paused when they are supposed to send a voice command. This obviously makes it harder for Google Assistant to understand what they’re saying, so eventually, relying on voice commands behind the wheel is pretty much impossible.

The same behavior has already been confirmed by several Android Auto users, and unfortunately, no workaround is known to exist at this point.

The good news (obviously if you’re not among those struggling with this problem) is the error doesn’t seem to be very widespread at this point. The bad news, on the other hand, is that neither Google nor Spotify acknowledged the struggle, so for now, it’s impossible to tell when a fix could land.

Nevertheless, if you’re also hitting the same glitches on Android Auto, just make sure you head over to the aforementioned support thread and provide additional information. It’s probably just a matter of time until Google starts investigating it anyway.
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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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