Numerous Android Auto issues prompt users to revert back to inadequate OEM software

One of the explanations why Android Auto and CarPlay have become so popular is the lackadaisical software efforts that carmakers have long been content with.

Numerous Android Auto issues prompt users to revert back to inadequate OEM software
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Photo: Bogdan Popa/autoevolution

Approximately ten years ago, users had no choice but to tolerate the subpar navigation systems and applications offered by carmakers, so when Android Auto and CarPlay became extensively available, everybody was enthusiastic to make the switch.

On one side, users were delighted to gain access to top-notch navigation such as Google Maps. Conversely, carmakers regarded the emergence of Android Auto and CarPlay as a chance to reduce investments in software, entrusting the infotainment to Google and Apple, something that numerous companies are now striving to reverse.

Nevertheless, reverting to the OEM software accessible in the car sometimes proves to be the only solution. And a recent glitch plaguing Android Auto as of this week illustrates why.

“Oops, something went wrong.”

Android Auto Coolwalk

Photo: Bogdan Popa/autoevolution

An ongoing post on Google’s forums presents all the specifics concerning the bug that is presently causing chaos on Android Auto.

A recent update disrupted voice commands, leading to Google Assistant being incapable of processing any requests. When users press the microphone button or activate Google Assistant with the specified phrase, Google Assistant initiates properly but fails to heed the voice command.

It triggers an error message stating, “Oops, something went wrong,” accompanied by an animation disappearing to signal that Google Assistant no longer listens for voice input.

The problem was initially reported on February 1 but has since become more prevalent, with tens of users confirming on the forums that they also encounter the same issue.

Users argue that voice commands on the mobile device continue to operate correctly, but the smartphone should not be connected to the infotainment system. Using Google Assistant without Android Auto running on the screen operates as expected.

How to resolve the “Oops, something went wrong” error

Android Auto Coolwalk

Photo: Bogdan Popa/autoevolution

Users who resorted to Google’s forums to report the problem claim they’ve tried everything, from clearing the cache and the data to reinstalling Android Auto. They say nothing worked, as Google Assistant is still malfunctioning if the mobile device is connected to the infotainment unit.

The connection type doesn’t make a difference, as the error plagues Android Auto wired and wireless. Changing cables doesn’t help, as it’s evident this isn’t a connection error but a glitch introduced by a recent app update.

While most users point the finger at Android Auto for the voice command issue, the culprit is likely the Google app.

The Google app drives the voice command support on Android and Android Auto, so if Google ships a flawed update, Google Assistant can be affected on one or both platforms. Android Auto seems to be exclusively affected this time.

The remedy involves removing Google app updates. You can uninstall the latest versions from the Settings menu on your Android device. Ensure you don’t install newer versions, as once you update the Google app, the bug reappears on Android Auto. Someone on Google’s forums confirmed this fix works, though they also explained that they configured voice commands from scratch and disabled automatic updates.

Google has already launched an investigation, but it’s too early to tell when a patch could be released. Nonetheless, considering the Google app frequently receives updates, it shouldn’t take more than a few days until the search giant releases a new version.

Reverting to the OEM software

Android Auto Coolwalk

Photo: Bogdan Popa/autoevolution

Voice commands are essential to the on-road experience, permitting users to interact with their apps without glancing at the screen. It’s a vital feature that significantly reduces distraction, so when voice commands falter, many users feel disoriented.

That’s why some Android Auto users whose cars came with pre-installed voice commands chose to discard Google’s app and revert to the OEM software. It’s not the most convenient solution, especially because the digital assistants developed by carmakers lack the advanced functionality of Google Assistant, but it’s the only way to control certain systems without touch input.

The error doesn’t appear to be tied to the Android Auto version installed on your device, so updating to the latest build doesn’t make a difference. The most recent Android Auto release is 11.3 beta, with the stable update likely to land in the coming days. However, if the Google app is to blame for the glitch, watch out for fresh releases in the coming days. If you have already allowed automatic updates on your device, the new Google app should be downloaded to the smartphone when it goes live.

A Google Community Specialist says they have already notified the Android Auto team about the error, and more bug details will be requested via email from the impacted users. You can join the conversation on Google’s forums on this page, and if you discover a fix, please share it with our readers using the comment box after the jump.

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