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I am The Cyberwolfe and these are my ramblings. All original content is protected under a Creative Commons license - always ask first.
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Archive for May, 2019

Pixel 3 Bluetooth audio issue

Posted in Geekery on May 29th, 2019

Another post in the line of publishing my own troubles for other’s reference.

My Pixel 3 phone developed a problem in the Bluetooth stack where it would connect to a device such as headphones or speakers no problem, but media audio wouldn’t automatically use it. If I went in to the BT device’s settings, I could disable and then re-enable Media Audio and after about 30 seconds, it would start to play. The audio quality was crap, however, and it sounded like someone had tossed a towel onto the speaker – all the highs were gone, and just the mids and lows came through. As a final affront, if I closed the screen, the playback would stop.

I tried several suggestions found online about clearing various cache memories, but none of them solved the issue. I contacted Google support, and they had me clear the storage used by the Google Fi app, which DID solve the problem, but only for about 30 seconds, after which it went back to the bad behavior.

Eventually, support walked me through doing a factory reset as the final step before they would replace the phone (still under full warranty), and the factory reset seems to have done the trick.

My suspicion is that something actually got corrupted in the Google Fi app, perhaps in the Beta program’s always-on VPN connection. Though I did try disabling that VPN during my original testing, it did not resolve the issue prior to the full reset.

Things to keep an eye on during the reset process:
– Make a backup.
– Make sure your phone is charged or on the charger, this process will eat about half the battery.
– Make a backup of any apps that have the option (like Signal Messenger)
– Make sure those backups complete before proceeding
– The backup can ONLY BE RESTORED DURING THE RESET RECOVERY PROCESS. Pay close attention as it will only ask you once if you want to restore an online backup, and you can’t just manually restore it later on. If you miss it, and you don’t know how to (or just really don’t want the hassle of) copying files back to your phone manually, just do the reset again and catch it the next time ’round.
– To restore Signal Messenger backups, you must copy the backup to the device before you install the app, as it will only look for a backup during installation. This is clumsy and they should feel bad, but there it is.

Good luck!