Google is fixing one of Android Auto's most common problems

Android Auto 2
(Image credit: Android Central)

What you need to know

  • Android Auto app update 7.5.121104 will reportedly add a USB Startup Diagnostics tool.
  • Esper Senior Editor Mishaal Rahman spotted the feature, which checks if the cable is capable of sending data properly.
  • This tool will ensure you know if an Android Auto error is hardware- or software-related.

If you've dealt with Android Auto connectivity issues in the past, the latest app update should help solve the origins of your problem. According to Esper Senior Editor Mishaal Rahman, Android Auto version 7.5.121104 will incorporate a USB Startup Diagnostics tool that checks the "cable quality" and rate of data transfer.

As Rahman explained, if the diagnostic tool detects an error, you'll know for certain that there's an issue with the connection between your phone and the car — either due to a damaged USB-C cable or a broken car USB port in the car.

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Google's Android Auto support page says that your cable should be less than 3 feet (1 meter) long, and recommends using the charging cable that came boxed with your smartphone. Or, if that's lost or damaged, you should only use a "certified" USB cable approved by the USB Implementers Forum.

If you've dealt with Android Auto connection issues, check if you've received this update. Then navigate to Settings > Connection Help > USB Startup Diagnostic to find this new tool. If it isn't there yet, it's possible Google hasn't rolled out the feature to your region yet.

If the diagnostic tool detects a problem, you may want to buy a new Android Auto-compatible USB-C cable; and if that doesn't solve the problem, then you'll know it's an issue with the car's entertainment center.

Android Auto has an excellent selection of apps that will make your long road trips more enjoyable — without taking your eyes off the road too often. But cable issues could ruin the experience. So even if your cable appears to be working well, the USB Startup Diagnostics tool could give you peace of mind before a long trip that everything will continue to work.

Michael L Hicks
Senior Editor, VR/AR and fitness

Michael spent years freelancing on every tech topic under the sun before settling down on the real exciting stuff: virtual reality, fitness wearables, gaming, and how tech intersects with our world. He's a semi-reformed Apple-to-Android user who loves running, D&D, and Star Wars. Find him on Twitter at @Michael_L_Hicks.