PSA: Recent update could break Android Auto, here’s the fix

On the other hand, Android Auto users learned the hard way that rushing to install updates isn’t exactly a smart thing to do. More often than not, new versions end up causing all sorts of issues, including connectivity issues that cannot be resolved without an official fix.

The same thing is happening right now due to what appears to be a bug in the latest versions of Android Auto.

Reports pointing to connectivity issues in Android Auto began appearing in early May, shortly after version 9.4 was released. It now seems that this particular version is the culprit for the connection error, and the most recent updates do not produce any improvements either.

Most of the users explain that Android Auto does not start when connecting the mobile device to the head unit. The notification that appears on the screen indicates that the vehicle is “searching for Android Auto”, but the connection ultimately fails because the app is not found.

Both the wired and wireless versions of Android Auto experience the same behavior, while the vehicle-to-car connection via Bluetooth works fine.

Android Auto 9.4 apparently introduced the bug, so the only fix that users have discovered since its release is the older version 9.3. The other fixes, including generic ideas like clearing the cache and changing cables, didn’t produce any improvements.

As such, if you too want to go back to Android Auto 9.3, you must first download the standalone APK installer. The most recent version of Android Auto is 9.6, so you probably already have a version higher than 9.3.

All the Android Auto APK builds are available on this page, so download the 9.3 installer and save it to your device. Then, find your location and tap on the installer to start the downgrade. You do not need to remove the existing version of Android Auto before the previous version, as all files are replaced automatically. The process may require special permissions because Android is not configured to allow installation of apps from sources other than the Google Play Store.

Once you downgrade Android Auto to version 9.3, the app should successfully connect to the vehicle. However, you should block automatic updates, otherwise Android would download and install the latest version from the Google Play Store. In other words, you could end up running the faulty build once a newer version is found on the Play Store.

Google has not yet acknowledged the bug as of this writing, so there is currently no official fix on the way. The next stable update for Android Auto will be released in June.