Android Auto bug sends Assistant into voice command loop when sending SMS messages

2 min read

Android Auto is sort of a newcomer in the Google portfolio, and it’s come a long way since its launch. However, at times, it also feels a lot like a beta product. That’s not new for Google services, but for one that’s in many popular cars from the likes of Honda, Volkswagon, and Hyundai, you’d think bugs like SMS not working would be a priority. Yet, this is exactly the issue Google seems to be facing with no fix in sight.

Users have been complaining since March of this year about a strange SMS bug in Android Auto. The issue is when text messages are initiated via voice commands. When using this method, users, including myself, are faced with a loop of the same Assistant response being repeated two or more times before the command can be completed. The original post on the Google Product Forums thread is pretty indicative of what I’m seeing on my personal daily commute.

Me: “Ok, Google”
Me: “Send a text message to John Doe mobile”
AA: “Ok, sure whats the message”
Me: “Hey man, I’ll be there in a couple minutes”
AA: “Here’s your message: Hey man, I’ll be there in a couple minutes”
AA: “Do you want to send it or change it”
Me: “Send it”
AA: “Whats the message”
Me: I repeat the message
AA: here’s your message (repeats message)
AA: “do you want to send it or change it”
Me: “send it”

Most of the time the cycle with Assistant will stop after the second try and the SMS will get sent. Other times, the cycle goes on until I just give up, close the Assistant, and start over. Either way, this is a core element of the Android Auto experience that is just blatantly broken with little response from Google.

With Android P officially approaching, and more vehicles being announced with Auto onboard, I sincerely hope that Google is working on a fix here. SMS is the default fallback for many of us to communicate with loved ones, and until RCS is fully implemented, it’s basically the best option Android has.