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2020 Ascent Limited
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I had my phone plugged in to the lower USB port in the center console. Using Android Auto on the way home. My wife plugged her charger into the upper port and it disconnected AA. Normal or do I have an issue?
 

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2019 Ascent Touring (CWP)
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Normal. She should use a different power source when you are using AA (or CP). Further, I could be wrong about this, but I believe those two ports "share" power so having two devices plugged into them at the same time greatly reduces charging efficiency.
 
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I use the second one for a USB thumb drive with music, or to charge dumb devices.
 

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Oddly enough, in both of my cars with AA/carplay, if my android phone is plugged in first, and my wife plugs her iphone into the second USB port (our cars have two usbs for front passengers) it always defaults to her phone. I've never tried plugging her phone in first, and then my Android phone, to see if it always favors the most recently plugged in phone.
But generally, with the Ascent, I use the second USB for a thumb drive for my music. Since my kids always leave an apple charger in the second row even when they're not in the car, my wife usually just plugs her phone into that now so it doesn't override the Android auto.
 

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I’ve found that I lose access to my USB drive when CarPlay becomes active. Is that abnormal?
I don't have an iPhone I connect to the car, so, I cannot test. But, CarPlay does seem to take over everything it can. If hitting the "media" button and picking the USB stick doesn't work, or, results in CarPlay taking over the media connection again, then, yeah, sadly, that's an Apple-ism, just like CarPlay overriding Android Auto connections (rumor is, it's a requirement in the license to implement a CarPlay compatible head unit).
 

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I had my phone plugged in to the lower USB port in the center console. Using Android Auto on the way home. My wife plugged her charger into the upper port and it disconnected AA. Normal or do I have an issue?
I had the same thing happen to me! I wasn't using AA and a Friend plugged her iPhone in and the car ignored my phone (android) and saw hers! We even switched ports and it still happened.
 

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With Android phones, there is no conflict between AA and a USB stick with music on it. I keep a 64GB drive plugged into the top port all the time, and I can get to my music even when AA is running on the bottom port. I keep an additional cable plugged into the USB port at the back of the console for charging other phones. You could also get a "charge only" USB cable for the second front port to avoid conflicts.
 

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With Android phones, there is no conflict between AA and a USB stick with music on it. I keep a 64GB drive plugged into the top port all the time, and I can get to my music even when AA is running on the bottom port. I keep an additional cable plugged into the USB port at the back of the console for charging other phones. You could also get a "charge only" USB cable for the second front port to avoid conflicts.
I purchased a new Ipod for carrying my tunes to the car but unfortunately that overrides the phone which use for navigation. Also having issues with the phone not connecting occasionally, love the car but sometimes not the user interface.
 

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That's an Apple requirement. The thing to do, @Anglo2000 is to attach the iPod via bluetooth and use a different USB port to power it (or a charge only cable, like mentioned above). Then, you can continue to use AA for navigation.
 
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