This Puzzling Android Auto Disconnecting Bug Finally Has a Fix, You Won't Like It Though

Odd bug, frustrating fix 15 photos
Photo: Bogdan Popa/autoevolution/Google forums
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Depending on how lucky you are, the experience with Android Auto can be either flawless or a major pain in the neck. What's even more awkward is that sometimes, you don't even have to do anything for the app to go bonkers all of a sudden, as the tiniest change on Google's side could cause Android Auto features to stop working properly.
Not long ago, users came across another problem that could hardly be explained.

Android Auto started experiencing a random disconnecting bug, typically in the middle of the drive, due to what seemed to be a Bluetooth problem.

The message displayed on the screen indicated the phone "has been disconnected from Handsfree phone (HFP)," without any other information on what went wrong.

The unusual message first appeared in early May, and since then, users have been struggling to figure out a fix, especially as Google never acknowledged the bug.

An Android Auto community specialist asked for phone logs on Google's forums, but since then, no updates have been provided on the current status of the investigation.

The glitch impacted mostly cars in the Volkswagen group, so many believed the carmaker would have to come up with a software update of its own.

But according to a recent discovery, Android Auto is actually the culprit. To be more specific, the most recent app versions cause the mysterious handsfree phone error for a reason that Google itself will have to determine.

This is both good news and bad news. On the one hand, Google must develop a patch for a future Android Auto app update. When this fix becomes available, simply installing the latest version should bring things back to normal.

On the other hand, users can fix the whole thing right now by downgrading Android Auto to an earlier release.

Someone discovered that going back to version 9.2 (the most recent stable build is 9.9) prevents random disconnecting. However, downgrading Android Auto means you're going to lose all the latest improvements and new features – sure enough, it's not like the most recent updates brought massive changes, but going back to version 9.2 could lead to other issues that have already been fixed in the latest releases.

At the end of the day, it's up to you to decide what to do, but given the current bug makes it impossible to run Android Auto, the downgrade looks like a no-brainer. You can find the APK installers of the previous Android Auto versions on this page, and you can use this tutorial to learn how to downgrade the app. As for Google and its investigation, we still have no ETA as to when an official fix could go live for this problem.
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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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