Photo: Bogdan Popa/autoevolution
Android Auto 9.5 and 9.6 seem to be the culprit, though in my case, only the latter breaks down the wireless connection. Android Auto 9.5 worked flawlessly, but oddly enough, downgrading to this version does not restore the cord-free experience.
Users first reported the error in mid-May when they received Android Auto 9.5. Version 9.6, released a couple of weeks ago, did not restore the expected behavior, so Android Auto wireless is still broken down at the time of writing.
While it’s difficult to determine how widespread the bug currently is, posts on Google’s forums clearly signal that the latest Android Auto updates might include a critical problem on this front.
Users have already tried the generic workarounds, such as clearing the cache and the data, but all of them failed to produce an improvement. The downgrade to Android Auto 9.3 or 9.4 brought things back to normal, as these are the last two versions known to work properly with a wireless connection. I, too, tried the downgrade to version 9.3, and I can confirm that Android Auto wireless once again connects correctly to my head unit with no issue whatsoever.
If you downgrade Android Auto, make sure you block the automatic updates. Otherwise, the Google Play Store will try to update the app, eventually getting you on the latest release known to produce wireless connection bugs.
Google has yet to acknowledge the issue at the time of writing, so time will tell if this is a widespread problem that requires an urgent fix. But based on Google’s typical reaction time when new bugs are discovered in the Android Auto world, you’d better not hold your breath for a fix just yet. Issues like this are fixed in months, especially if only a handful of users hit them.
In the meantime, the search giant is still striving to resolve more widespread errors, such as the one breaking down the lower part of the screen on Coolwalk. The issue was discovered shortly after the January rollout of Coolwalk, as users could no longer interact with the taskbar and the bottom side of the screen. For some reason, half of the interface freezes on Coolwalk, so changing apps or interacting with what’s on the screen is no longer possible. Google started an investigation about two months ago, but the fix still isn’t on the radar at the time of writing.