Update your phone now to get the latest major fix for Android Auto

Android Auto in-car interface
Another fix is coming to Android Auto (Image credit: Google)

If you're an Android Auto user, you should get the Google app on your Android phone updated to the latest version at your earliest convenience – that's the app that assists Android Auto on car dashboards, and it means you'll get the latest fix rolled out by Google.

As reported on the Android Auto Help forums (via Autoevolution), engineers have now dealt with a rather annoying bug that interfered with in-car voice commands – even ones as innocuous as "call my wife".

The problem, it seems, is that something was interfering with the personalized settings inside the Google app, which in turn blocked access to contact information. Ask Android Auto to call your brother, for example, and it wouldn't know who your brother was.

How to update

"We are happy to report that the Assistant team has applied a fix," writes one of the Android Auto team in the official support forum. "Please update your Google app to the latest version, which should solve the problem."

You may well find the Google app has updated itself automatically. To check, open up the Play Store, tap your profile picture (top right), and then choose Manage apps and device. Select Updates available to review and install any pending updates.

It's difficult to say exactly how widespread the problem was, but in the original troubleshooting forum thread, a total of 31 users indicated they had the same issue as the initial poster. Hopefully, all should now be well again.

Analysis: less AI, more AA

Google recently treated Android Auto users with a revamped interface known as Coolwalk, but it's been a rocky drive for them since – only last month Google dealt with yet another bug that was affecting people with a Samsung Galaxy S22 phone.

While we're quite impressed with all the artificial intelligence that Google has been stuffing into its products lately, we do get the impression that the company is more interested in shiny new toys than the wealth of established apps and services that it already offers to users.

Sure, being able to have Gmail write boring emails for you seems like quite a cool hack for saving some time in the day – but we reckon that most people would be content with some solid updates and fixes for the tools they're using day-to-day, whether that's to do with Pixel phones or data security.

Android Auto is a case in point: an app and interface that millions of people rely on every day, that has long felt neglected. Perhaps we can be grateful that at least it hasn't yet gone the way of Google Stadia and numerous other products...

David Nield
Freelance Contributor

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.