Android Auto™

Updated December 22, 2020
Android Auto™

Android Auto™ is a piece of software developed by Google that mirrors features from an Android device to a car head unit. It supports navigation, music playback, SMS, telephone, and web search.

What does Android Auto do?

Among the most used navigation programs are Google Maps and Waze, both Android applications. There are several premium cars that use Google maps, but it's not exactly the same as using the latest version of Google Maps on your phone.

That's why most of us use our cell phone in a car holder. Android Auto allows you to use the car's system screen, either via touchscreen or buttons, to control compatible applications installed on your mobile phone. However, the recommended method for traffic safety is to use the Google voice assistant, just like you do in the case of smart speakers. The Internet connection used will be the one provided by the phone. You no longer need a subscription for the car's SIM.

All you have to do is connect your phone with a USB cable and Android Auto starts automatically. From here you can control navigation via Google Maps or Waze, with all the functionality of the basic application. You can play music saved on your phone or using a streaming service like Spotify, Youtube Music (I didn't even know it existed), you can call your favorite contacts, answer incoming messages, etc., all without your hands leaving the wheel.

The only trick is that the application you want to run is built to support Android Auto.

I like the idea of ​​Android Auto because you get rid of the unsightly phone on the car dashboard, which also blocks your field of vision depending on how you mount it. In addition, you can connect your phone to another car (possibly a rented one) and all your favorite settings, contacts and applications remain the same, being saved on the phone, not in the car system.

How can I install Android Auto on my car?

Here comes the hard part: how do you benefit from Android Auto? If your car is on the list of compatible models you are in luck. Connect the phone by cable or wireless, if you have a compatible model, and start the application.

If your car does not support Android Auto you can buy an aftermarket unit that integrates Android Auto. JVC, Kenwood and Pioneer are among the manufacturers offering such units.