Android Auto and Google Maps

Pellice

Thinks s/he gets paid by the post
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Oct 19, 2016
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I thought about putting this in the pet peeves section, but I think it's more serious than a peeve ...

I just discovered that Google Maps loads and runs automatically when using Android Auto - and cannot be prevented. So, if I want to use Android Auto to listen to an Audible book, I am forced to run the data-eating maps app at the same time, even if I don't want or need it. Or, that the Audible book is downloaded onto my phone so really should be taking up very little if any cellular data.

This can't be right, and yet it seems to be confirmed when I google the issue. I was trying to figure out why my cellular data was diminishing more quickly. I saw a couple of complicated work-arounds, but they really seemed like pains, as I do use the maps function when I need to.

Have any of you contended with this issue?
 
Could you just use a Bluetooth connection for certain things?

Our 5 lines (Cricket Wireless) all have unlimited data and our phones (XS Max or XR) have strong batteries.

When connected to Android Auto, you are one of millions of nodes sending/reporting data about everything. That is passed compiled and used for traffic data that helps you.

I would selectively use it for the right purpose.
 
Pellice, I see the same thing, and don't know a way around it while using Android Auto. So, I typically use a bluetooth connection to listen to my podcasts if I don't want Google Maps to be using my cell data.
 
I didn't know that bluetooth would work for more than phone calls and texts. I guess if it would work for podcasts it would work for audible. I'll give it a try. I wonder if I have to do anything special. I already connect automatically for phone calls. Or does that only work with certain cars or certain phones? I think mine would work since the update.
 
In my car, I select bluetooth as an audio source, and the paired phone audio will play. Functionality in the car's head unit is reduced using bluetooth vs. Android Auto.

Based on this thread on Google support, it looks like there isn't an option to disable nav in Android Auto. https://support.google.com/androidauto/thread/13060817?hl=en
 
What if you go to Settings > Apps & Notifications > Maps > Data Usage and turn off Background Data? You'll have to keep your audio book player as the app that's displayed on the screen. I don't know for sure if this will work -- it won't if Android considers Maps to be running as a foreground app whenever Android Auto is running, even though it's not on screen.

You can also reduce the amount of data maps uses by downloading offline maps for the areas where you drive most frequently. Instructions for that are here: https://support.google.com/maps/answer/6291838?co=GENIE.Platform=iOS&hl=en
 
I didn't know that bluetooth would work for more than phone calls and texts. I guess if it would work for podcasts it would work for audible. I'll give it a try. I wonder if I have to do anything special. I already connect automatically for phone calls. Or does that only work with certain cars or certain phones? I think mine would work since the update.

A bluetooth connection to your car will allow the car's speakers to play whatever audio would normally be coming out of the phone's speaker. The phone doesn't care whether the thing on the other end of its bluetooth connection is a car or a pair of earbuds, it'll just feed all the audio out and accept commands like fast forward, rewind, answer the phone, etc.
 
Thanks, all, for the information about bluetooth. I tried it today, and it worked. I think I didn't know about it before because my phone didn't work with it until the update last October. Many phones still do not.

I didn't have the commands for the 30 sec. rewind on the car display, though they were available on the phone (and they are available on the car screen when using android auto), but maybe I can find them. And, in any case, I'm willing to make the tradeoff as to not burning cellular data on google maps when I don't need them.

Google really needs to enable users to turn off google maps on android auto if they want.
 
I have a android phone with a broken screen that I have downloaded the whole state of Arizona offline in Google Maps and 1000 songs in Google Play Music, and with no cell carrier. Everything works fine in Android Auto, except calls which I can do voice activated, on my phone or I can just plug it in and use the cars controls.
 
Huh. I don't have a car with Android Auto (although I have been wanting one, and was considering buying one this year), but I have been using my phone to navigate 3 days a week for the last few months, averaging about 4 hours a week, and I haven't noticed much of an increase in my data usage. For example, I used to use 500-1500M per month without navigation. I have been driving using Google Maps on my phone for the last two weeks, and my data usage for the month so far is 500M, which is about a quarter of my monthly allotment, and a little higher than usual, but not unusually so.

Is this specific to Android Auto?
 
They've made it pretty easy to set up Google Maps to work on WiFi only, so it doesn't use up your cell data.

You select the area you normally travel in on the map, and download the map, so it's on your phone. Also handy if you are out of cell service.

They will do an update (WiFi only) in the background, each month, to keep it up to date (yes, mostly to keep the ad information , restaurants, etc, up to date). So it's all very seamless.

-ERD50
 
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