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Android

Phone audio no longer routing over Bluetooth in car for anything other than phone calls.

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Digsy
4: Newbie

Huawei P20 user here on Android 10.

 

I used to be able to access all the Google Assistant features on my phone by pressing the "voice" button on my car's steering wheel. This would mute the stereo and route all phone audio over the car's speakers. So I was able to read and dictate text messages, create new calendar entries, etc, etc. Basically anything I could do hands free on my phone I could also do via my car's hands free speakers / microphone.

 

However since about two months ago this has stopped working. Or rather, it now only works for calls. Pressing the voice button still works, but for anything other than calls the phone audio now only plays over the phone's speakers and the car does not mute the radio / media, so I cannot hear the phone which renders it useless (unless I manually mute the stereo).

 

At the moment I don't know it this has been caused by a phone software update, or a car software update, or what ever. Its also not easy to pin down when the problem started as even though it is useful and I miss it now it is gone, I never used to use this feature much. I discovered it by accident a few weeks before Christmas when someone sent me a text message while I was driving and I could not get it read to me over the car's speakers. All I know for certain is that it used to work but does not now.

 

Anyone else noticed anything similar? 

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1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

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Digsy
4: Newbie

FIXED!! At least for now.

 

I followed Evie's link to the Google Assistant forum and did these two operations (I don't know which one actually fixed the issue).

 

Cleared the Google (G) app Cache
Open your phone's Settings app.
  1. Tap Apps & notifications.
  2. Tap the Google (G) app. If you don't see it, first tap See all apps or App info.
  3. Tap Storage & cache: Clear cache

Uninstalled all updates to the Google app:

Open Google Play Store > search for Google (G) app > open app > Uninstall > OK > Update > wait for update to install > Restart phone (NB a restart was not necessary in my case)

This caused Google assistant to reset itself, although it seemed to retain some of my settings. 

 

After doing this, it worked in my car as previously. I then did the following additional step of disabling auto-updates to the Google app:

 

  1. Open the Google Play Store app 
  2. Tap Menu  > My apps and games.
  3. Select Updates
  4. Select Google from the apps list
  5. Click the "three dots" menu (top right)
  6. Un-check auto update.

Thanks so much everyone for your help! Hopefully this will carry on behaving from now on. :Smiling:

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25 REPLIES 25
hrym
17: Community Champion

Oh joy, Bluetooth in cars!   It's not just one, but several cans of worms.   Car manufacturers tend not to update their systems at the same rate as phone manufacturers and inconsistencies/incompatibilities can easily crop up.

The first question is: when did this happen in relation to, say, a system update on either unit?
Next: have you tried unpairing the phone and then re-pairing it?
And the big one: is there a system update for your car?   These tend not to be automatic, need to be installed by a dealer and can be expensive.
Finally, have you tried Android Auto - if you aren't already using it and your car supports it?

This isn't a VW or Audi, is it?   There have been huge issues with them in the past, solvable by an update to the car in some cases.

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Digsy
4: Newbie

Hi, thanks for your reply:

 

Q: The first question is: when did this happen in relation to, say, a system update on either unit?

A: Actually impossible to say with any certainty when it happened full stop (as mentioned in my post). However my car had a routine service in September. The media system can be updated over the air, though but I think this is just limited to navigation map updates.


Q: Have you tried unpairing the phone and then re-pairing it?

A: Yes I have. What I have not tried is completely deleting my phone form my car's memory.

 

Q: And the big one: is there a system update for your car?   These tend not to be automatic, need to be installed by a dealer and can be expensive.

A: No idea, but I have a parallel line of questioning going on with my car dealer so I can ask. The car was new last year so it should be covered under warranty.

 

Q: Finally, have you tried Android Auto - if you aren't already using it and your car supports it?

A: It is an optional extra which I did not specify,

 

Q: This isn't a VW or Audi, is it?   There have been huge issues with them in the past, solvable by an update to the car in some cases.

A: It is a Mercedes C-class on a 69 plate.

 

I also e-mailed the Mercedes dealership yesterday and they replied in a similar vein, except asking when my phone was last updated. Again, this is kind of hard to determine, unless you know of a change log somewhere online or in the phone that I can access? I can tell what level software I have installed, but not when it was applied.

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Mark
Moderator

Is it just the one phone that's only connecting for calls @Digsy? Have you tried pairing another phone and checking if this experiences the same issues?

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Digsy
4: Newbie

Hi Mark,

 

Unfortunately that is the only phone I have access to, really.

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hrym
17: Community Champion

Right, that's helpful.   I'd certainly try getting the car to forget the phone.   With regard to phone updates, I'm specifically thinking of system ones and you'd know because you'd get a notification and need to do a restart to complete the process.   There are periodic security updates and, although I can't say these would definitely affect Bluetooth, they probably won't to the extent of the problem you're having.   That would be more likely to come with a full platform update (eg Android 9 to 10, say).

It may be that your dealer would be prepared to do a system update for the car (if there is one) under warranty, but I wouldn't bank on it.   Also, if the issue results from one, going back may be difficult or impossible.

I drive Renaults and haven't had any problems, though the system functionality tends to be more limited - contacts list integration could best be described as a joke, though voice search works well.   And, yes, OTA updates do normally apply to the navigation element.   The current one has Android Auto, which I tried for all of about five minutes, mainly because it replaces the main system rather than augmenting it and isn't, imho, as good.

I'd say it's pretty much a racing certainty that one or other system has had an update that changes the way the two interact.  The more integration there is, the more this is likely.   It's possible that a reset of the connection will sort it, and we can only hope it will.   Loss of phone audio over BT is pretty fundamental, though and the thing I'd expect to lose last.

As a matter of interest, can you still play music from the phone over the car system?

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Digsy
4: Newbie

Hi Hrym,

 

I have now tried deleting the phone and repairing. No difference. :Sad_face:

 

Just to re-iterate, I have not lost phone audio over BT. Calls still work exactly as expected, as does (to answer your other question) music over BT.  Contact syncing also works fine, as do notifications for text messages.

 

What I have lost is the intelligent way that the car and phone used to interact when doing anything other than calls or music.

 

Old behaviour:

1) Press "voice" button on steering wheel.

2) Car mutes radio / USB / whatever media is playing and listens on microphone.

3) Phone receives my spoken instruction and un-mutes media while it "thinks".

4) Phone re-mutes media and speaks reply over car speakers.

 

 

New behaviour:

1) Press "voice" button on steering wheel.

2) Car mutes radio / USB / whatever media is playing and listens on microphone.

3) Phone receives my spoken instruction and un-mutes media while it "thinks".

4) Phone speaks reply over its own speakers without muting media.

 

The closest I can get to the old behaviour is to allow my phone to connect for calls and then also manually connect it as a media device, and then select it as the active media source via the head unit. This routes ALL phone audio over BT to the car, but of course it also kills any other media sources such as radio / USB so it is not really a solution.

 

With regards to a phone system upgrade, how can I check when my phone was updated to Android 10? 

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hrym
17: Community Champion

Ah, I hadn't quite gathered that it's as specific as that.   I'm not sure what to suggest other than talking to your dealer, who may not know.   Although BT is fundamental to the way phones operate, it's peripheral to cars and often a bit of an afterthought.   You may need to look for manufacturer-oriented forums.   A query direct to the manucturer might produce a reponse, though equally, that might be "we don't know how our systems will interact with every model of phone".

As regards the Android version, I did a bit of digging:
Go to Settings and About Phone

Tap where is says:
Android version
10

All the information will be there

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Digsy
4: Newbie

Hi,

 

Regarding: 

Tap where is says:
Android version
10

All the information will be there

 

It doesn't reveal anything on my phone (Huawei P20) when I tap there.

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Digsy
4: Newbie

I need to determine the exact date that my phone received its upgrade to Android 10.

 

Huawei P20

 

How can I find this out? 

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BandOfBrothers
17: Community Champion

Which phone model do you own ?

For one example......There isn't an exact date when a Samsung phone will receive Android 10 Samsung One Ui 2.5 or Android 11 Samsung One Ui 3.0 @Digsy 

Samsung provide the month of the update to their unbranded phone's i.e phone's supplied directly by them. This info is in the Samsung Members app.

For branded phone's i.e phone's supplied by Vodafone then Vodafone say.....

Firmware-Explained. 

 

Current Phone >

Samsung Z Fold³ 5G.

Previous Phone >

Samsung Note 20 Ultra 5G - SM9860.

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Digsy
4: Newbie

Thanks for the reply. Its a Huawei P20, original post edited to include this.

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BandOfBrothers
17: Community Champion

No worries @Digsy 

 

Was it supplied by Vodafone?  If so check out the firmware statement.

If not check out any online information from people who own your model of phone or tech blogs for update information.

Current Phone >

Samsung Z Fold³ 5G.

Previous Phone >

Samsung Note 20 Ultra 5G - SM9860.

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Digsy
4: Newbie

"Was it supplied by Vodafone?  If so check out the firmware statement."

 

Yes it was supplied by Vodafone. There's no information on the phone itself, that's the first place I checked, but I probably should have mentioned that. It only shows the Android level but not when it received the upgrade to 10.

 

"If not check out any online information from people who own your model of phone or tech blogs for update information."

 

You mean like the Vodafone forum? 😉

I already Googled it but could not find anything other than the update became available around June / July time but that doesn't mean that is when it was rolled out for Vodafone customers - hence asking on here.

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BandOfBrothers
17: Community Champion

I'm sure you realise when I said “if not” i.e not supplied by Vodafone hence the software wouldn't have been pushed out by Vodafone but instead the manufacturer then tech blogs or forums for your particular phone may have had the roll out date :Winking_smiley:

 

May I ask why your chasing the exact date your phone updated to Android 10 ? Just being nosey :Smiling:

 

I've not used your model of phone but sometimes the update date is in the software update section.

 

i.e 

This shows in mine 

Screenshot_20210114-173510_Settings.jpg

Current Phone >

Samsung Z Fold³ 5G.

Previous Phone >

Samsung Note 20 Ultra 5G - SM9860.

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Digsy
4: Newbie

The Huawei phones run a modified UI called EMUI so things appear slightly differently. The "software update" section looks different to the picture you posted and does not contain any date information. There are hyperlinks to "change logs" but they don't contain any useful data.

 

In the "about phone" section there are two dates:

Kernel version: 4.14.116 android@localhost#1 Thu Sep 3 13:$6 CST 2020

and

Security patch level: 1 July 2020

 

No date specifically for the big upgrade to Android 10 unless it is captured by one of those above.

 

I am asking because of this thread. Short version: My phone doesn't talk to my car over BT as well as it used to and I am trying to find out if either phone or car had a software update recently.

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BandOfBrothers
17: Community Champion

Ah I see @Digsy 

 

I'm wondering if there is other forums with people who have posted they are having similar issues to yours ? 

Your car dealership might be able to help and or can you send a bug report to the source who send out the updates for the phone and car. Just an idea.

Is software reversible on your car or phone ?

 

Current Phone >

Samsung Z Fold³ 5G.

Previous Phone >

Samsung Note 20 Ultra 5G - SM9860.

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hrym
17: Community Champion

That's annoying.   My Moto G8 does it (shows the date), but I've just checked my wife's Sony L3 and it doesn't.

Looking at Android Authority, it appears that the Huawei P20 may have got A10 in late May or early June last year.

You could, I suppose, do a factory reset on the car's system - a pain because you'll have to set up personalisations all over again.   If that fails, talk to your dealer, though I'm not hopeful because car manufacturers tend to regard connectivity as a fit-and-forget peripheral.

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Digsy
4: Newbie

OK, new news. Its definitely a phone issue. I got my hands on a Samsung Galaxy A40 running  Android 10, paired it with my car, enabled Google assistant and it instantly worked exactly like my Huawei used to.

 

The UI on the Samsung is more "vanilla" so I can see when it was last updated. Looks like it got Android 10 on 16 October.

 

Kernel: 4.4.155-18598463 #1 Thu Sep 10 14.45.58 KST 2020

 

I need to dig a bit deeper into the Google Assistant and Bluetooth settings on both phones to see if there are any differences that might be causing one to work and the other not.

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hrym
17: Community Champion

It certainly sounds as though there's been an update to the phone that implements BT in a slightly different way.   The more functionality there is between connected devices, the more there is to go wrong.

At this stage, it might be worth looking for Huawei forums to see if anyone else is having the same problem.   If Huawei know about it, there's a chance they'll issue a fix.   I have heard of people solving issues like this by installing a different BT stack, but that's a technicality way above my paygrade and you'd need a clear rollback path as it may make things worse rather than better.

I can only wish you luck with is and repeat my observation that, of all the things to stop working, this seems one of the less likely.

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