The internet is rife with reports of Bluetooth issues in the new public beta of Android Oreo, and Google has started petitioning users for help identifying the problem.
Both Nexus and Pixel devices, which optionally received Oreo as an over-the-air update, have been giving their users trouble connecting to car audio systems, Bluetooth speakers, and wireless headphones.
Google isn't hiding from the issue: Instead of sweeping it under the rug or attributing the bugs to Oreo's beta status, the company has taken to the official forums to ask for reports from Nexus and Pixel owners.
What's being reported
The problems are as varied as the devices users are trying to connect to, at least according to the forum posts where Google is collecting bug reports.
Some users can't connect to devices at all, others say they can temporarily connect before it drops, some aren't able to see device metadata on their vehicle's screen, and a few reports have even mentioned audio distortion and static noise.
SEE: Android Oreo: The smart person's guide (TechRepublic)
One user reported being able to receive calls without issue, but any attempts to call out using his car's Bluetooth system were completely silent.
Google's Nexus and Pixel community manager said he's gathering reports to determine a pattern, so it seems Google is in the early stages of identifying the problem prior to fixing it.
Not a new issue?
Interesting to note is that this may not be a new problem for Android Oreo. Several users reported that Bluetooth connectivity was a problem in all the previous beta releases of Android 8.0, raising the question of why it's still a problem.
It's possible beta testers didn't report Bluetooth issues in previous versions of Oreo, which defeats the purpose of having a beta. That, or Google put Bluetooth fixes on the backburner and pushed Oreo to public beta before resolving what could be a critical flaw.
It is essential to note that not all users are having Bluetooth issues. Many are working just fine, and while it's too early to point a finger at a culprit, the inconsistency of the problem could indicate issues tied to Bluetooth hardware.
SEE: Google unveils Android 8.0 Oreo, here are the phones that will get it first (TechRepublic)
As has been the case in the past, some phones of a particular model have issues while others of the same model don't, and the source was multiple hardware vendors supplying the same part for different runs of the device.
The problem could also stem from hardware issues that are anything but new. Huawei Nexus 6Ps appear to be a significant portion of complaints on the Nexus thread, and looking back a few years to 2015 reveals nearly identical issues on 6Ps.
Until we hear from Google it's hard to tell what the actual problem is, but in all likelihood we already know: hardware/software incompatibilities.
Top three takeaways for TechRepublic readers:
- Android Oreo testers have been reporting widespread Bluetooth issues with connecting to cars, speakers, and headphones.
- Google has opened forum threads for both Nexus and Pixel users to report issues and has received over 200 responses.
- Google is reportedly working on a fix currently, but has yet to reveal the source of the issue.
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Brandon Vigliarolo has nothing to disclose. He does not hold investments in the technology companies he covers.
Brandon writes about apps and software for TechRepublic. He's an award-winning feature writer who previously worked as an IT professional and served as an MP in the US Army.