[Updated] Try these workarounds to fix January update-triggered car Bluetooth connectivity issue on Google Pixel 7, Pixel 6 & others
New updates are being added at the bottom of this story…….
Original story (published on January 6, 2023) follows:
The Google Pixel January update has been available for a few days for all eligible Pixel phones. The update brings the usual performance improvements and bug fixes.
However, it seems that this update also brought a bug that is affecting Pixel phones’ Bluetooth connectivity with cars. With this, cases of Pixel updates that bring bugs are quite often (1, 2).
According to reports, the Pixel January update is causing a Bluetooth connectivity issue on Google Pixel 7, Pixel 6 and other devices.
January update-triggered car Bluetooth connectivity issue on Google Pixel 7, Pixel 6 & others
Users affected by the issue report that after updating their Google Pixel smartphone to the latest firmware, they can no longer connect to their car’s Bluetooth.
Pixel 7 not connecting to car’s Bluetooth after January update
Hi, On updating my pixel 7 to the January update, it refuses to connect to the Bluetooth system in my car. I’ve factory reset the system in the car, my network settings, restarted my phone, and messed with the developer settings to no avail.
I bought a Kia Cerato 2015 model car in early December. The Bluetooth pairing to my 6 Pro was flawless. Had no issues with it. Was able to listen to music, podcasts etc and even take calls.
The January 2023 security update seems to have broken Bluetooth pairing between my 6 Pro and the Kia’s audio entertainment system.
Ironically, the Google Pixel January update changelog includes fixes for Bluetooth connectivity issues.
There are similar reports from users of Google Pixel 7, Pixel 6, and even Pixel 4a devices (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10). So, it doesn’t seem to be a bug limited to any particular model.
Some workarounds you can try
That said, there are some potential workarounds that could help you fix the connectivity issues between your Pixel smartphone and car Bluetooth.
First, you can try to unpair your mobile device, restart your stereo multiple times, restart the Pixel device and try connecting again.
This happened to me yesterday and I unpaired, reset my stereo multiple times etc I restarted my phone and it worked fine after that
Another option is to change the “Bluetooth AVRCP version” option to 1.4 or 1.3. You can find this option from the developer menu, which you must first unlock:
If it’s an older car (bluetooth device) you can try to change the “Bluetooth AVRCP version” down to 1.4 or 1.3. You’ll find this under development options (Google it if you don’t find development settings, it needs to be activated). Then unpair Bluetooth on both phone and car, then connect again.
To unlock the developer menu, you must tap over the ‘Build Number’ 7 times. You can find the Build Number by following this path: Settings > About Phone > Build Number.
Also, a Redditor claims that Google’s German support team recommended deleting the Bluetooth cache. If not possible, then you can do a full factory reset of the device.
There is still no official acknowledgment of this issue from the Google team. However, a Product Expert from the support forums confirmed that this was a ‘widespread issue’ and recommended sending feedback to Google.
This issue is widespread and has been picked up by Android Police: https://www.androidpolice.com/google-pixel-bluetooth-problems-cars-january-security-patch/ The best thing to do is to send feedback directly to the team about this via Settings > About phone > Send feedback about this device. Ensure that you include the logs.
It’s worth pointing out that the support team on Twitter is recommending affected users to follow some troubleshooting steps (1, 2, 3). However, these don’t seem to be helping anyone.
We will update this story as events unfold.
Update 1 (February 7, 2023)
10:46 am (IST): Google has released February 2023 update for Pixel devices and it includes a fix for the Bluetooth connectivity issue. Hence, users can install the update and see if this issue gets resolved.
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