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Android Auto will now tell you if your USB cable is faulty

Broken USB cables cause big problems for anyone trying to use a wired connection between their phone and their car, but the latest Android Auto update is looking to reduce that frustration. With the rollout of the 7.5.121104 update, Android Auto is able to run diagnostic checks of any cable connected to an Android device.

This could drastically reduce the number of connection issues that users experience when using wired connections, as they’ll be able to know if the problem they’re experiencing is tied to their cable. Up to this point, it’s been tricky to know for certain if a USB cable is faulty on the fly, but the diagnostic test that Android Auto can run will tell users instantly if their phones are properly sending/receiving data through a cable.

Bad USB cables are frequently behind Android Auto issues, so in the latest version of the Android Auto app (7.5.121104), Google's adding a USB Startup Diagnostics tool.

— Mishaal Rahman (@MishaalRahman) March 16, 2022

The USB diagnostic feature hasn’t been rolled out for everyone just yet as Esper’s Mishaal Rahman pointed out on Twitter, however, it seems likely to be implemented across all devices in the coming weeks. Those interested in seeing if the feature is included in their version of the app should check under the Connection Help menu in the Android Auto settings.

Upon checking their hardware, some users might be surprised to see that they’re using a suboptimal cable to connect their phone to their car. Seeing how varied the specs are in regard to USB cables, this might not be the end of the world as many will certainly get the job done — they just might not be the absolute best cord for the job. For the best results, Google suggests that device owners use the USB cable that came packed with their phone when purchased.

Testing USB cables isn’t a new practice, but Android Auto’s diagnostic check seems to be the type of system check that more operating systems could use as it doesn’t require plugging and unplugging a cable multiple times to test its connection. After all, USB cables aren’t just used for connecting phones to cars, and the frustration that comes with accidentally relying on faulty hardware could be completely avoided if more operating systems were to be able to run quick tests as Android Auto does.

It’s still to be seen if more official Android apps will adopt the feature, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed.

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