Android Ice Cream Sandwich – Bluetooth Audio Problems

May 1, 2012

Like many Android device owners I have recently upgraded my Samsung Galaxy SII to Ice Cream Sandwich (Android v4.0.x). All great and lovely – Still finding/exploring the new features and getting used to the slightly new ways of working in some areas.

I do however have a gripe…and being a driver and music lover, its actually quite a major gripe: Since upgrading I ca no longer control my phone via my car headset. Sure it connects (although this seems much less reliable since the upgrade) and will play, but I have to control it via the the phone, which is actually a big No whilst driving – The Samsung SII is a touch screen only device, all bar the home button/volume/power (like many phones now), so to change tracks for example, I need to look at my phone, instead of the tactile buttons on my car headset which I can ‘touch type’ on, as I can with the steering column control unit.

So – Why is it no longer working? From what I’ve been reading, it seems Google updated the implementation of AVRCP (Audio Video Remote Control Protocol) with Ice Cream Sandwich meaning that software calling the API for functions such as skip track no longer send the expected command. It seems also that this has effected the majority of music sofware for Android, apart from a few, including Google Music.

So – The likes of WinAmp (My choice of music player for Android) will need to update their software to work with the new bluetooth stack. If I could find Google Music on Google Play (Google Play = App Store) I would install and use it – At least until WinAmp is updated (Updated that is, not fixed…as its not WinAmp thats broken!). I’m about to try the Music player that comes with the Galaxy SII…Hopefully that will see me through.

Google are aware of the issue…Lets hope a fix appears soon.

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3 Responses to “Android Ice Cream Sandwich – Bluetooth Audio Problems”

  1. JD Scogin said

    It appears that Google Play has the same issue.

    • The recent update to Ice Cream Sandwich (v4.0.3) seems to have fixed the problem for me. Blue tooth in my car is still some what unreliable in terms of getting the car/phone connected, but once connected the skip track/pause functions work perfectly.

      The release notes for ICS v4.0.3 seems to support this:
      http://developer.android.com/about/versions/android-4.0.3.html

      “Bluetooth
      New public methods fetchUuidsWithSdp() and getUuids() let apps determine the features (UUIDs) supported by a remote device. In the case of fetchUuidsWithSdp(), the system performs a service discovery on the remote device to get the UUIDs supported, then broadcasts the result in an ACTION_UUID intent.”

  2. Well, it looks like this is fixed…I tried pairing my phone to my car this morning following an Android update that took my phone to v4.0.4 – Happy to report all seems well, 10 mile drive, music all the way, 2 phone calls…No disconnects, volume/skip controls work on both phone and car.

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