Android Auto and CarPlay are broken – here's how to fix them

A recent survey claims drivers find Apple CarPlay and Android Auto too unreliable

(Image credit: CarPlay)

Both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay are now key features that people look for when buying a new car. They promise a seamless experience between your smartphone and car operating system, capable of sharing music, messages, phone calls, and navigation with a simple, easy to use interface.

The problem is, when drivers come to use Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, they begin to find all kinds of issues with both systems, even though the experience should be nice and straightforward.

This was found by a recent study conducted by J.D. Power, which found that smartphone connectivity has become the top problem in new cars, especially when a wireless mode is being used.

This is despite CarPlay being considered a more reliable alternative to Android Auto – both systems are experiencing way too many errors on a regular basis.

The 2021 J.D. Power Initial Quality Study surveyed new car owners on a series of problems they’re experiencing with their new vehicles, and the survey says that after responding to the 223 questions, most drivers indicated smartphone connections to the head unit as the biggest headache.

While infotainment is the most problematic category, with 25-percent of all errors related to such systems, it was Android Auto and Apple CarPlay named as the worst offenders. This was due to various issues drivers encountered when either trying to connect their smartphone to the infotainment system, or while running the two apps.

It was the wireless mode that was found to be the worst when it comes to errors and bugs, despite the rise of that connection method currently on the rise.

In fact, earlier this year, Google said that more than 100 million cars out there were already using Android Auto wireless, and Apple is believed to be working on a portless iPhone that would no longer support wired CarPlay.

So, what can be done to fix Android Auto and CarPlay? Apple and Google need to iron out the bugs! In theory, it shouldn't be too difficult to do – we've already seen Google increase the frequency of Android Auto system updates in recent months. 

In something that is as important as a car operating system, both companies really need to perfect their systems and irradicate bugs before introducing new features.

J.D. Power also points out that both carmakers and tech companies need to start working together to improve the experience, as the survey revealed that it's often the users that are the ones caught in the middle, with neither the tech companies nor carmakers willing (or capable) to fix the issues.

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Spencer Hart
Style and Travel Editor

As the Style and Travel Editor at T3, Spencer covers everything from clothes to cars and watches to hotels. Everything that's cool, stylish, and interesting, basically. He's been a part of T3 for over seven years, and in that time covered every industry event known to man, from CES and MWC to the Geneva Motorshow and Baselworld. When he's driving up and down the country in search of the greatest driving roads, he can be found messing around on an electric scooter, playing with luxury watches, or testing the latest fragrances.