Android Auto Sometimes Asking for Encrypted File Access, This Doesn’t Make Any Sense

There’s a lot Google needs to fix on Android Auto, but this new, unexpected behavior reported by a handful of users doesn’t make any sense.

Someone brought to my attention what’s likely a glitch in the wireless mode of Android Auto and which is currently impacting Samsung phone owners exclusively, as the app keeps trying to access files stored in an encrypted space on the device.

More specifically, some users running the wireless version of Android Auto in their cars noticed that the app keeps asking for the password to the Secure Folder that’s already configured on their phones.

The Secure Folder is a dedicated Samsung app that allows the creation of a secure space on the mobile device where apps and the rest of files are encrypted, therefore keeping them away from the rest of the operating system. If Android gets compromised, for example, everything stored in the Secure Folder is protected thanks to this high level of encryption.

Android Auto obviously runs outside the Secure Folder, and in theory, it shouldn’t require access to this place unless one of the apps stored in there is configured to run as part of the car-optimized experience.

And yet, the wireless mode of Android Auto keeps requiring the password to read the contents of the Secure Folder, some users say, with the whole thing not happening when the app runs with a cable.

The good thing is the app insisting on getting the password for the Secure Folder doesn’t break down Android Auto, so you can continue using it normally, but on the other hand, password prompts keep popping up on the phone, which means the mobile device can’t be used at all when connected to the car.

It’s still not clear what’s happening and how many Samsung users are affected, but the problem seems rather isolated right now. Of course, without Google acknowledging the whole thing, there’s no ETA as to when the whole thing could be fixed.