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Android 13 appears to cause problems for Google Assistant on Android Auto

What you need to know

  • Users are encountering an issue with Android Auto’s Google Assistant on version 8.5.624594 of the app.
  • Saying “Hey Google” will not force the Assistant to be readily available for any queries.
  • The issues appears to affect Samsung, Pixel, and Sony devices.

Android Auto seems to have run into some complications with Google's latest OS release.

An Android Auto help thread was created halfway through the month citing issues with the app's Google Assistant commands (via 9to5Google). The primary issue that users are reporting stems from the Assistant's “Hey Google” command that opens its metaphorical ears with version 8.5.624594. This issue is noticeable by the Assistant's bottom bar going completely blank when a command is given.

This issue is affecting Samsung phones as well as Pixel devices. Android Auto's voice command woes are also affecting Sony devices with one user reporting the problem in detail using an Xperia 5 III. The current running theory is that perhaps the Android 13 software is conflicting with Android Auto, causing it to possibly disconnect and reconnect when a voice command is tried.

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(Image credit: Google)
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Google Assistant responding to a physical button press rather than voice command.

(Image credit: Google)

Although, the user did find that long-pressing the Google Assistant button on their steering wheel or the mic icon on the center console's touch screen will process any voice commands properly. Some more digging appears to indicate that this is a critical issue with the current software of Android Auto. Attempts at unpairing/re-pairing the car from their phone and deleting Android Auto's stored cache have proved fruitless.

Unfortunately, this isn't the first instance we've heard of Google Assistant's voice commands seemingly being ignored by Android Auto. The AI helper was apparently taking in the queries given but simply ignored the request to complete them, as one user had found.

The woes continue as even Android Auto's “Coolwalk” redesign has been slow to arrive in the hands of users — even for those enrolled in the beta program. Coolwalk brought a sizeable upgrade for users, such as a split screen mode for all screen sizes and contextual suggestions for music and messages via Google Assistant. However, an incredibly small amount of our polled readers have actually received the update. Findings suggest that Google has only pushed it out to certain vehicle hardware.

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