Google Maps users have been struggling with a GPS signal issue since at least January, and Google first attempted to fix it with a special update in February. The bugfixing patch that Google began rolling out in early February doesn’t seem to be bringing things back to normal for everyone.
The issue caused the GPS signal to be lost in Google Maps when the app was running on Android Auto, and the first challenge the community faced was finding the culprit. Without a GPS signal, Google Maps was useless as the navigation app couldn’t determine users’ location and then provide route guidance to a destination.
Given the battle that took place over Android Auto, it wasn’t clear if Google was actually the culprit or not. Google launched an investigation in late January, and Google Maps 11.66, which shipped in early February, should fix the bug.
The update is still rolling out, but feedback from users who have received the new version has remained mixed.
Several users confirmed that installing the latest version of Google Maps does indeed fix the GPS problem on Android Auto, but many others claim that this is not the case. The problem persists even after installing Google Maps 11.66 with the application still losing the GPS signal when running Android Auto.
In any case, disconnecting Android Auto and running Google Maps on the mobile device will bring Google Maps back to a working state.
At this point it is not clear if Google is still working on a fix, but users themselves are already looking for solutions to restore navigation functions in their cars.
Without an official fix from Google, some are jumping off and switching to alternative navigation apps. Someone explains that Waze and HERE WeGo both run properly on their devices, so switching to one of them is a temporary fix until Google fixes Google Maps.
Perhaps worst of all is the confusion that still seems to plague Google Maps’ user base. Google did indeed ship a patch, but since it doesn’t fix the issue for everyone, it’s pretty clear the company needs to investigate these reports further. Without telling users whether the investigation will continue, Google is giving them a good reason to install an alternative app.
If you haven’t gotten the latest version of Google Maps yet, you can install it manually by sideloading the APK file. To do this, you need to download version 11.66 on your device and then install the application on the device by launching the APK installer and granting permissions from third-party sources.