Android Auto is a popular app that many people use to improve their driving experience. It emulates all the core features of Android onto your car. You can control media, search the web, send SMS messages, call others, etc., all hands-free.
One of the major features of Android Auto is the ability to use GPS navigation on the car’s display without needing to use your phone. Once you connect your Android device to your car, it supplies an external display.
This display is designed to make usage simpler in a car. Earlier, you used a cable to connect your car, but you can do it wirelessly now. Just like all apps, Android Auto regularly receives software updates.
In January 2023, the app got the Android Auto 8.5 update, and people have faced many GPS problems since then. Updates usually add features and patch bugs, but sometimes, they go wrong due to inadequate optimization or overlooks by developers.
After that update, Google Maps isn’t correctly detecting the car’s location. If it cannot use GPS to determine location, it can’t deliver any navigational inputs. The app does not show your real-time location, which is a major, experience-breaking bug.
It gets worse since people expect major bugs like these to get fixed immediately in the following versions. However, even the latest Android Auto 8.8 does not address this issue.
The problems don’t end with Android Auto since many reports that the update also breaks the Google Maps app on their phones.
Google didn’t officially acknowledge the problem yet, and the official changelog for the latest updates does not cite anything about fixing the GPS bug.
The Android Auto 8.8 update faces heavy criticism across forums and social media. This is because it brings the GPS bugs to people who didn’t previously have it.
If you’re on an older version, that’s before 8.5; we heavily recommend sticking to it. Updating to a newer version will only make the experience buggy and worse since the latest Android Auto 8.8 update also has the same navigation and GPS signal loss bugs.
There are a few workarounds for this problem other than the basic troubleshooting methods, like restarting and uninstalling/ reinstalling. The problem only happens if you enable Android Auto on the head unit.
So, you won’t see the problem if you disconnect your phone from the car and use the phone for navigation. It’s not a convenient solution, but it’s better than not having any navigation at all.
For some people, the app on their phone is buggy with GPS too. You may download an APK of an older version of Google Maps from trusted websites. We don’t guarantee the reliability of APKs, and you’ll have to install third-party apps at your own risk.
If you only want to use Android Auto, then older versions are available to download online. You can try reverting to a version that’s Android Auto 8.4 or below.
Meanwhile, Google plans to switch to a new UX design called “Coolwalk UI“. The reason why a wider rollout didn’t happen yet could be the tremendous amount of software bugs, which they want to fix before a global rollout.
We hope Google acknowledges these GPS problems as soon as possible so people can get back to driving safely with navigation help. We’ll update you if there’s any fix for these issues as quickly as possible.