There’s a lot going on in the Android Auto world, and if you’ve been part of the community for more than a few days, you probably know already that bugs come and go regularly.
Photo: Bogdan Popa/autoevolution
Users who encountered the problem said that Google Chat disappeared after an Android Auto update, though the two seem unrelated. The bug most likely resides in the Google Chat app itself, but the company has shared no specifics on the investigation.
A member of the Android Auto team recently confirmed on Google’s forums that the Google Chat team is already working on a fix, indirectly suggesting that Android Auto is not responsible for the mishap.
The work on the fix is still in progress, but the Android Auto team member said more information would be shared soon.
Meanwhile, there’s not much users can do. The generic workarounds available in the Android Auto world, including clearing the cache and the data, don’t help, so the Google Chat is still missing for those encountering the problem.
Updating to the latest Android Auto version doesn’t work. The most recent version Is Android Auto 10.7, though this build is still part of the beta program. The release landed last week to allow users to try out Android Auto 10.7 before it reaches the stable channel. The production build is expected by the end of the month.
Android Auto 10.7 doesn’t come with any significant changes, as Google seems to focus mostly on improvements under the hood.
It’s unclear when Google could come up with a fix, but you’d better not hold your breath for a Google Chat update for now. The company typically needs up to several weeks to come up with a patch, but a company source told me that the investigation is already in an advanced stage. The team is testing a fix, and it should go live any day now if no major bug is discovered.
UPDATE: Google has shipped an update, seemingly bringing things back to normal for everybody. The new Google Chat version is 2023.10.15, and I’m told it was specifically released to address this problem. One user confirms in this discussion thread on Google’s forum that installing the update resolves the problem, bringing the Google Chat app back to Android Auto. I’m still waiting for confirmation from more users, but if you encounter the error, you should install the new Google Chat app before trying out any other fixes.