This Easy Fix Resolves the Recent Android Auto Music Listening Problems

Spotify on Android Auto 1 photo
Photo: Google
If you’re using Spotify to listen to music while driving, and there’s a good chance you are given this service has over 320 million monthly active users, you probably noticed the experience on Android Auto isn’t always the most refined.
And some people discovered that using their steering wheel controls for music playback with Spotify on Android Auto doesn’t actually work at all, as the buttons seem to be completely disabled.

Same issue here. When listening to the Spotify app directly, I can use the steering wheel/radio controls to skip or pause a song. However, when listening to Spotify through Android Auto, the steering wheel buttons do not respond. I am able to skip/pause using the phone screen,” someone says in a post on Google’s forums.

The issue was first reported in December, though it’s still not clear if Android Auto is the one to blame or the culprit is a recent Spotify update for Android devices.

In the meantime, the good news is users can fix the whole thing themselves, and it all comes down to a simple downgrade of the app. In other words, you need to remove the latest version of Spotify and go back to an earlier release, as the issue appears to impact only the most recent update of the music service.

One user explains on Google’s forums that the latest version known to work correctly on Android Auto, and therefore allowing music playback controls via the steering wheel buttons, is, which was shipped in mid-November. So what you need to do is uninstall the current build, head over to this page to get the old version APK, and then manually install Spotify on your device.

Needless to say, you also need to block app updates from the Google Play Store to make sure Spotify doesn’t get updated to the latest version.

Neither Spotify nor Google acknowledged the problems so far, so you’d better not hold your breath for an official fix.
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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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