Users trying to listen to music using voice commands on Android Auto say that Spotify won’t launch anymore. Instead, they are prompted to manually open the app on Android Auto.
Spotify is currently the top music app on mobile devices and the app has a dedicated user interface for Android Auto users. The music will continue to stream from the mobile device and the voice commands will be provided by the Google Assistant.
As of the end of February, starting music playback on Spotify with Google Assistant no longer works. Whenever a voice command is sent to Android Auto, users are told that “something went wrong” and they must “try opening Spotify to continue”.
The error is strange, to say the least. Google Assistant should launch Spotify itself, and outside of Android Auto it can do this correctly. However, playing a song with Google Assistant doesn’t work even if Spotify is already running on Android Auto.
Users who encountered the error claim that they tried the common workarounds. Clearing the cache and storage of Android Auto, Google app and Spotify doesn’t seem to bring any improvement. The same goes for uninstalling and reinstalling Spotify as the Music app doesn’t seem to be the culprit in this case.
The consensus is that Google Assistant has a compatibility bug with Android Auto. The issue reminds me of a similar issue Google Assistant encountered in cars when users tried to make phone calls. Google Assistant was able to process the command correctly, but instead of initiating the call, it simply returned to the app that had focus and ignored the request.
If Google Assistant is indeed responsible for the error, downgrading to an earlier version might help. Users reported the issue in late February, so consider reverting to a Google app version that shipped in the first week of the same month.
The current version at the time of writing is 14.7.14, while the version you should try downgrading to is 14.4.12. It went live on February 2nd, at a time when the Android Auto bug didn’t yet exist.
As a temporary solution, users who want to listen to music on Spotify have to resort to manual input. This isn’t necessarily the best approach for someone who needs to keep their eyes on the road at all times, but drivers should set up playback before beginning a journey.
Google hasn’t confirmed the issue yet, so it’s unlikely that a fix is currently in the works.