Unexpected Workaround Resolves Widespread Android Auto Music Problem

Spotify and YTM are both affected by the music cutout bug 1 photo
Photo: Google
The rollout of Android 11 is both good news and bad news for Android Auto users, as the new operating system version also comes with a series of bugs for the experience behind the wheel.
And one of the most widespread is a glitch that’s causing music skips during playback, regardless of the application that’s being used to stream audio on Android Auto.

And while Google has remained completely tight-lipped on this one so far, someone online has come across a rather unexpected fix. So here’s everything we know so far.

First and foremost, similar issues have been around for a while, but after the update to Android 11, they have become more widespread when running Android Auto with a USB cable. Most users started complaining that the new OS version is what triggered the bug in their case and downgrading to Android 10 reportedly brings things back to normal.

Then, it looks like the Google Pixel 4a is very often the device suffering from the music cutout problem. Android 11 is currently available only for select phone models, and the entire Google Pixel series is among the devices already supported.

The bug happens regardless of the app that’s being used to listen to music, including here Spotify, YouTube Music, and Deezer. All of them are impacted by the music skipping bug only after the update to Android 11.

And now, the workaround. While you wouldn’t otherwise think that location services have anything to do with the music experience in the car, it looks like simply turning off the location tracking on the device is enough to bring things back to normal.

The fix was published on reddit a few hours ago by a Google Pixel 4a owner, and several others have already confirmed that after disabling location services, the music skipping problem is gone.

The obvious drawback here is that disabling location services on an Android device isn’t exactly the most convenient workaround for Android Auto, especially because doing this pretty much makes navigation apps, such as Google Maps and Waze, rather useless since they’re no longer able to determine your location.
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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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