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Android Auto update fixes major bugs — but the redesign is still missing

Android auto connected to samsung galaxy s9+
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

We first heard about the latest Android Auto bug a few weeks back, and how it wasn’t registering certain phones as being compatible with the software. Fortunately Google has released a couple of updates (opens in new tab) intended to solve the problem (via Android Police (opens in new tab)).

The bug seemed to affect some phone types more than others. OnePlus, Xiaomi and Samsung phones seemed to be the worst offenders, which is a strange coincidence since those phones were among those affected by an Android Auto bug that blew icons up to absurd sizes back in July.

While some troubleshooting suggested uninstalling and reinstalling the Android Auto app, this fix means drivers should stop having issues. No more error messages, no more black screens, just pure uninterrupted Android Auto.

Google began rolling out the fixes on September 2, but initially targeted Samsung Galaxy Z series devices — including the new Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Z Flip 4. The company also confirms that it may take time for the update to roll out to everyone, so anyone still experiencing issues should sit tight and be patient.

This is, by all accounts, good news. Driving around solo, when you’re used to having Android Auto by your side, can be a little disconcerting. I know that from experience, having just had to send off my car’s infotainment unit for repair. Oh how I wish it had been a software issue, and not something that required several weeks without technology.

Hopefully the fix means Google can get back to the one Android Auto update people have been eagerly awaiting — namely the redesign that was announced at Google I/O back in May.

Android Auto refreshed UI example

(Image credit: Google)

The Android Auto refresh first leaked at the start of February, though it took Google until May to confirm it was happening. Android Auto would be getting a much-needed design refresh, which included a split-screen mode. That mode is set to include always-on media and navigation, with the option to use other apps without messing about with the homescreen.

The most important thing is that this design will adapt to your car’s screen. So it doesn’t matter how big or what bizarre shape it has, Android Auto will make the important stuff visible. There are also going to be closer ties with Assistant, and single-tap functionality, which will be invaluable tool when you can’t take your hands off the wheel.

Google originally announced that the Android Auto refresh would arrive “just in time for the summer”. That suggested it might start rolling out before late June, when Summer officially began. But now we’re firmly in September, and just two weeks away from the official end of summer with no sign of any change.

Tom Pritchard
Automotive Editor

Tom is the Tom's Guide's Automotive Editor, which means he can usually be found knee deep in stats the latest and best electric cars, or checking out some sort of driving gadget. It's long way from his days as editor of Gizmodo UK, when pretty much everything was on the table. He’s usually found trying to squeeze another giant Lego set onto the shelf, draining very large cups of coffee, or complaining that Ikea won’t let him buy the stuff he really needs online.