Tell Me The News in Driving Mode is broken, here’s what to do

I am going to preface this with I do not know how widespread this is nor how many of you slap your phone into a car mount and ask Google both for Driving Mode and then to tell you the news (which plays audio from various news agencies,) but I do this a lot and it’s been a miserable experience lately and I found out why.

TL;DR – error message popping up in background/not visible, fix is to ask for the news again it will resume usually.

Things work well for me for a few news items and then generally it just stops when a new story is supposed to be being played. Asking Google to skip, pressing the Bluetooth advance buttons on my car, etc no go.

My general experience is about five or six items before it no longer works. Your experience will vary based on what you’ve expressed interest in in Google News I’m assuming. I have to believe this news is tailored to my searches and as such you may have never experienced the problems I do.

What appears to be happening is the podcast/news player is running in the background. I’m not sure if this is Assistant or Play Music or some API when launched from driving mode. When not launched from driving mode you can see the error messages.

image 16 - for some reason we don't have an alt tag here
This is probably popping up where you can’t see it if you’re in driving mode

Once there’s been an error (I traced this error to a particular title,) that’s it. Tell me the News halts in the background, driving mode goes on. No Bluetooth advance or asking Google to skip does anything. Asking Assistant to skip will get results like “I’m not sure how to help with that”

Your options here are to ask Assistant to tell you the news again. You’ll get a note that you’re resuming where you left off. The story will either load or skip to the next one properly this time.

The errors do not appear to be connection related, there’s no activity that I can do that trigger them more. “Tell me the news” thus far has been the only solution.

Basically Google’s not error handling gracefully in their podcast/news API.

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Paul E King

Paul King started with GoodAndEVO in 2011, which merged with Pocketables, and as of 2018 he's evidently the owner. He lives in Nashville, works at a film production company, is married with two kids. Facebook | Twitter | Donate | More posts by Paul | Subscribe to Paul's posts

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