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I recently bought a used car and it has a (relatively new) Android head unit (i.e., the main radio unit is an Android tablet). The head unit itself is pretty slow and reflective in daylight so I want to just continue to use my phone (with a car mount) for navigation and music / podcasts while driving.

The head unit came preloaded with a "Bluetooth" app that pairs with my phone and allows to stream music from my phone to the head unit. However, the Bluetooth connection keeps disconnecting. After the first disconnect in a single ride, I usually can't even get the music playing again via the head unit even though it reconnects. I have Android Auto on my phone which is set up to automatically start when it's connected to the head unit Bluetooth and automatically close when it's disconnected - so I have a pretty good indication that the connection is flaky as it starts and stops several times during my 15 minute commute.

I tried looking for an alternative for the preloaded "Bluetooth" app, but I can't find one that intended to RECEIVE audio.

More details:

  • There's no AUX or USB port on the head unit.
  • My phone is Pixel 2.
  • The head unit is (I think) Allwinner t3 running Android 7.1.1.
  • My phone has no trouble connecting to other Bluetooth devices - I have a smartwatch and several Bluetooth headphones and it handles them without any connection issues, ever.

The ideal solution for me would be that the head unit would connect to my phone via Bluetooth on boot and do nothing else than channeling the audio to the speakers.

UPDATE: Okay, this is really weird. Upon more experimentation, it looks like the problem is with specific tracks. Using Google Play Music to stream music to the head unit, everything works fine. But with some podcast episodes I'm trying to play in Pocket Casts, the head unit immediately disconnects. I thought maybe the head unit has trouble displaying Hebrew track names, but I ruled that out with other episodes / songs. Any ideas what could trip the connection?

  • Is there any way you can get the android head unit into an adb shell from your laptop or something like that? A look at dumpsys or logcat would help a lot here. – confetti Aug 12 '18 at 9:54
  • If I recall correctly, this requires a USB connection? At least for the initial connection. Unfortunately the head unit doesn't have a USB port. – Amir Rachum Aug 12 '18 at 15:58
  • Not even in the back? It shouldn't be a USB-A port. It should be a micro-USB (female) port, usually on the back. Sometimes a special connector is needed. Do you know the exact name of the android unit you have? – confetti Aug 12 '18 at 16:04
  • On the back means to take the head unit out? – Amir Rachum Aug 14 '18 at 8:26
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They write that Allwinner T3 head units have USB but (at least some of them) require hardwre modifications to enable ADB mode. But you can try other possibilities: Connect ADB via WiFi. Collect Bluetooth HCI snoop logs from your smartphone for working/non-working cases and try to find the differences.

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