Photo: Bogdan Popa/autoevolution
The latest glitch I noticed on Android Auto causes Spotify to fail to automatically start in the car. Playing music doesn’t work correctly either, as every time I manually launch the app and select a song, it freezes for no clear reason. The app looks like it’s about to start the playback but just stays there, apparently trying to load the song in the background.
This behavior occurred on Android Auto 10, so I thought the new app version had a bug that broke down Spotify. I downgraded to Android Auto 9.9, and Spotify still can’t play songs correctly. Most likely, the audio app is the one to blame this time.
Several users have confirmed the same behavior on reddit, and as it turns out, the bug appeared earlier this week, likely after a recent Spotify update.
After trying out the generic fixes (which seemingly produce zero improvements), such as clearing the cache and the app’s data, I discovered that manually playing a song on my Samsung Galaxy S22 Ultra works correctly. However, the Android Auto interface is still frozen, so the infotainment screen can’t display the now-playing information despite the music playing in the background.
This behavior might indicate that Spotify freezes on Android Auto, so my next idea was to force-close the app and see if this restores the music playback. Force-closing an app on the mobile device also enforces a reboot on Android Auto.
As it turns out, this fixed Spotify in my car, as the application starts playing music correctly. As a result, it appears that Spotify freezes on Android Auto on a cold start, so if you kill the app and launch it a second time, everything works correctly.
Neither Google nor Spotify acknowledged the bug, and as with everything else in the Android Auto world, you’d better not hold your breath for a fix.
Unfortunately, the glitch appears to become more widespread, so unless a fix goes live, our only options are to force-close Spotify every time we launch Android Auto or try other workarounds like downgrading to previous versions. Returning to earlier releases also comes with one major shortcoming: you miss out on all the latest improvements.
I’ve contacted Spotify for additional information on the problem and to see if the company is looking into user reports, so I’ll post a follow-up story when and if I hear back from them.