Possible Pixel 3a Microphone sharing problem?

@southpaw Hello and Happy Holidays! It’s been a while since I chimed in. As you may recall, I had this frustrating issue with the Moto G Power and without a workaround available at that time, I moved on to the Google Pixel 3a XL. Just recently the same exact issue starting happening with this phone. I suspect that it has been an issue all along, but I did not notice because up until recently I was not talking on the phone for extended periods of time (using the republic extender landline instead). However, recently I started taking longer calls directly on my cell phone, and just like that, the issue is back on this phone. I just went ahead and took the steps you outlined for the temporary workaround for the Moto phones (disabling microphone access for Google in permissions). But this workaround was suggested only for the Moto phone, and I am not sure if this is supposed to work also for the Google Pixel 3a. Is there a different workaround for the Pixel 3a? Is there a permanent fix being worked on for the Pixel 3a like there is for the Moto phones? I searched around in the community forum but am not seeing mention of this issue specific to Pixels - only Motos. I look forward to hearing back. I hope all is well and happy holidays and new year!

If this is the ‘same problem’ the Moto G had it would be strange, but having seen no mention of the Pixel 3a having this problem I would suggest you Open a Ticket, and let the technical folks at Republic work with you …
ETA: Moved to Topic by itself to see if there might be additional thoughts from others in the community

1 Like

@jben Yep, it does seems strange, but having already experienced the issue on the Moto G power previously (and working tirelessly to troubleshoot), I am confident in saying that the symptom that occurs is absolutely the same as what happened on my Moto G. (And by the way, I have very few third party apps installed on my phone.)

The answer to both of these is no because this is the first report of this issue we’ve seen. On any other phone where this issue has appeared it has been tied to a call recorder app or other “sound” app that was the cause of the interference.

Do you have any such apps on your phone? And excuses this question, but have you restarted the phone since this has happened?

1 Like

@louisdi Hello. I do not have a call recording app and yes, I have restarted the phone. The first time I noticed this was a few days ago during an especially long call, which is the same as when it used to happen on my Moto G. I went ahead and did the suggested workaround that was recommended for the Moto G (denying microphone permission to google). Does that make sense? Would you expect that to potentially work here even though its a different phone? Also, looking through some of the long threads on this issue, I wonder if there were some people who joined in commenting on their same issue even though they might not have had a Moto G. Even though the title of the threads clearly labels it as a Moto problem, maybe there were folks who had the same issue on non-Moto phones but didn’t clearly indicate that, or didn’t comment but had the same issue and used the workaround that was suggested,

There’s no way to know whether the fix will work because it was designed to resolve a very specific issue (the Google App grabbing mic permissions and not releasing them). With no way to know if that’s what you’re experiencing there’s really no way to say if the fix will work.

As far as whether folks with other phones have been experiencing this all along, although I can’t say 100% for sure, I’m pretty confident in saying no. The reason is that when this issue existed on the Motos Republic saw dozens or hundreds of tickets, multiple community threads, etc. Since none of that exists for other phones, it points to either this being something new, or something else going on with your device.

1 Like

Hi @brandong.i1aaku,

I checked each users who commented in the Moto G Stylus/Power topic to make sure they had one of the two phones indicated. It was very important to us that we identify and troubleshoot the issue with Motorola, and doing so required us to be certain the issue was limited to those two phones.

We have seen a couple of Pixel users describe the same issue after updating the phone from Android Q to R. In every case so far, the issue has resolved itself within a few days with a subsequent update to the “phone” app and/or “Google” app to bring the app current with the new OS.

There’s also this similar issue with the Pixel 3a

2 Likes

@brandong.i1aaku This leads to the question, are all of your apps fully updated? If you go to the Play Store and tap the three lines at the top left and then “My Apps and Games” is there an “Update All” button? If so, please smack it and let everything update and see if that makes a difference!

2 Likes

@southpaw @louisdi Thank you for your help. My phone is still on Android version 10, although there does appear to be a system update available that would update to 11. Also, all of the key apps and ones I use are fully updated. Ones that came with the phone that I don’t use like google play music, google tv, wallpapers, etc, I don’t bother updating. If you think updating all of the those miscellaneous apps is worth doing, please let me know. I did notice there was a google app not updated so I just updated that one. In any case, at this point I have the google app’s microphone permissions disabled. Looking at the thread southpaw referenced, it sounds like that may have worked as a temporary fix. In his case, though, the issue seemed to have been a disconnect between new Android 11 vs apps that were not updated, but I am still on Android 10. Should I test for a while with google’s app microphone permission disabled? Now that the google app is updated, should I turn microphone permissions back on and test?

1 Like

As far as updating the misc apps, the concern would be what lies in your, “etc”. Google’s apps sometimes lean on one another, and while you may think there’s a Google app you never use that doesn’t need to be updated, it may be that there’s functionality in it that other apps rely on, so I don’t want to say, “no, those are fine to avoid updating” when we don’t know what’s included in your “etc.” When you’re having an issue is a good time to update all system apps and all Google-related apps.

Any particular reason you haven’t updated the OS?

Since you’ve made a change, now’s a good time to test again with the Google mic permission allowed. If the issue persists, see what else could be updated, and test again. If you update the OS, allow a day or two for the play store to prompt you to update any Google or system apps, but do watch for them. And reboot the phone before any new phase of testing.

1 Like

@southpaw Thank you. There are a bunch of google-related apps that I haven’t updated (google connectivity services, google calendar, google keep, google duo, google play music, google news, google tv, google docs, google pixel buds, gboard, google text to speech, google support services, google play services for AR, google home). I just recently updated the main google app. My working theory was because the app updates take up space, if it’s an app I am not using and doesn’t seem important, I don’t update it. Maybe that’s not best practice. Do you recommend we simply keep the phone on auto-updates for apps and allow it to update all apps as it desires? The reason I haven’t updated the OS to 11 is because I never even knew it was available. With this new issue, I started digging around and saw within settings, system, it was available, but I never received a notification that it was available. Do you recommend that I update to Android 11? Any disadvantages / risks?

First, you should keep all app on your phone updated. Updates frequently close security holes that could be a way in to your phone, even if you’re not using the app.

Second, I would recommend updating to Android 11, as again, security fixes and performance improvements are the primary change in A11.

Finally, of the apps you listed there are a number that could be involved in the issue you’re having. That includes, connectivity services, duo, gboard, and text to speech. These are just the obvious candidates, but it could be any of them.

2 Likes

I experienced this issue after updating to Android 11. The temporary fix (disabling the on demand Google searched) worked for me and at some point it came undone (not sure when, maybe during a RW or Google update) and has been working fine since. No sign of any recording apps causing the issue from what I could tell.

Yes, as was indicated above:

All apps are now updated and I will test and see if that makes a difference with the microphone sharing issue.

1 Like

This is why I mentioned the update. It wasn’t a sound app, but the Google voice activation (I forget the exact app) that seemed to be the issue, not a call recorder.

Message an
Expert customer