Users Lose Essential Android Auto Feature, the Workaround Is a Big No-No

New bug impacting the experience with Android Auto 15 photos
Photo: Google/autoevolution edits
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Android Auto fights distractions behind the wheel on multiple fronts, with Google Assistant in charge of the battle to let users interact with their apps while driving.
Because the purpose is to let drivers keep their eyes on the road, Android Auto can also display notifications for apps installed on mobile devices. For example, if someone texts you while driving, Android Auto shows a notification on the dashboard screen, so your phone won't light up, letting you focus on the road.

A glance at the screen allows users to see essential notification information, such as the sender and the app. You can't read the message contents on Android Auto, but Google Assistant can read it for you. The assistant also offers options to send a reply.

Starting last month, users have lost the ability to get popup notifications on Android Auto, and many turned to Google's forums to complain about this undesired behavior. They claim the notification dot still appears in the taskbar, but the popup doesn't show up, making it impossible to see who sent them a text.

The biggest problem is that the workaround isn't at all convenient. Users must touch the screen, open the notification center, and tap the notification to see the details available in the popup until now. This means they take their eyes off the road and look at the screen for several seconds, so if you recently hit the same bug, please don't use this workaround. If anything, pull over to check for notifications, especially if you are waiting for an important message.

Otherwise, Google should urgently investigate this problem, as users claim they've already tried all workarounds without finding a solution that restores the original behavior. They even unpaired and repaired the mobile devices, all to no avail.

A Community Specialist who is also a member of the Android Auto team asked for more bug information, including the Android version where the glitch occurs. All users encountering the problem run Android 14, but it's unclear if the operating system has anything in common with this notification behavior.

However, Android 14 is known to have caused multiple problems on Android Auto, including broken features.

It's too early to tell when a patch could land, but Google asking for more information is good news. However, the search giant sometimes needs up to several months to come up with a fix, so you'd better not hold your breath for an update. Meanwhile, you should also try to update to the latest build – Google has recently released the first Android Auto 12 beta, so if you don't mind installing pre-release software, you should try it and see if it brings the notification behavior back to normal.
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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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