The Android Auto error that keeps both users and Google awake at night

The Android Auto error that keeps both users and Google awake at night

Getting back to Android Auto, while its adoption is always on the rise, the app occasionally ends up hitting various problems that seem like a huge challenge to deal with. And unfortunately for users, not even Google can sometimes figure out a way to fix them. Case in point, a glitch blocking Facebook Messenger notifications from showing up on Android Auto.

Android Auto is powering the smart capabilities in no more, no less than 150 million cars, according to Google, and the number might be even higher if aftermarket head units placed in older models are taken into account. Android Auto is becoming increasingly frequent for modern drivers as its user base grows, especially as Android continues to be the world’s most popular mobile platform. Android has a market share of roughly 60 to 80 percent, depending on who you ask, with the iPhone taking the rest.

Highlights

  • “A number of weeks ago, I was able to receive and respond to FB Messenger notifications via Android Auto. Suddenly they stopped appearing. No change of phone, no change of car. Just worked one day, stopped working the next. I have since changed both car and phone, but notifications are still failing to appear,” the original post reads.

  • Android Auto interface. The first time I came across reports of these notifications blocked on Android Auto was in 2021. A discussion thread on Google’s forums on the very same topic is dated May 2021, with someone explaining that Facebook Messenger notifications simply stopped showing up in their cars without absolutely any change on their side.

And it did. Or at least, that’s what an Android Auto community specialist claimed about 10 days ago, as they advised users to update the app to the latest version because it “may resolve the problem.” At this point, the most recent stable version of Android Auto is 7.5, with the rollout taking place as we speak through the Google Play Store. But according to users, the latest version of Android Auto does absolutely nothing when it comes to the Facebook Messenger notification bug. Posts in the same discussion thread I linked to above confirm that updating Android Auto to the latest build doesn’t fix this behavior, with the notifications still blocked when the app runs on the head unit in the car.

Several users have then confirmed the same behavior in their cars, and despite the many workarounds that have been tested since then, no solution was found. In other words, after the impacted users tried out everything, from clearing the cache to reinstalling Android Auto, changing cables, and tweaking the settings of Facebook Messenger notifications, it was up to Google to provide a fix.

The bug will soon be a year old, and unfortunately, it looks like not even Google can figure out how to fix it. Obviously, this isn’t necessarily the most critical glitch, and if you’re a long-time Android Auto user, you probably know already there are others that need to be prioritized. Google Maps not showing up on Android Auto is one of them, and once again, Google is said to be working on the whole thing, hopefully with its incoming fix to actually do something about it.

But what’s more concerning for Facebook Messenger users is that nobody knows for sure if Google is at least still investigating the problem. The company seems to label the error as already resolved, though it’s pretty clear the fix needs a fix as well.

I’ve reached out to Google trying to get more information regarding the state of the investigation for this bug and will update the article accordingly if and when I get an answer.