What is Android Auto and is it good?
| Ihor Martsekha
What is Android Auto?
Android Auto integrates your Android smart device into your vehicle’s entertainment system so that you can see the mirror of your phone screen on the in-car screen. This gives you the ability to use voice commands and your controls on your steering wheel to control your phone and access the functionality. It has 2 major functions in your car, firstly it helps you to use the functions on your phone with ease. Secondly, and most importantly, it lets you experience all your phone functions in a superior manner whilst driving your car. Safely.
Android Auto currently is standard equipment on more than 500 vehicle brands, especially on the latest models. Most models allow for cable connection but some of the newer models have migrated to wireless connectivity. It’s growing so fast that in just a few short years there won’t is a new car on the road that does not support Android Auto.
How do I get Android Auto in my Current Car?
There are 3 ways to use Android Auto in your car. Firstly, you can buy a new car with it preinstalled, most manufacturers offer this in models after 2017. Secondly, you can install Android Auto on a compatible head unit (car media system) or you can use the app on your phone whilst driving. Of course, buying a new car is not always a practical option so most people might opt for a new head unit if affordable or you can start using it on your phone almost immediately.
With your google account, you will get the Android Auto for free and if your data plan can accommodate the data-heavy functions of the application you will have many happy miles.
Android Auto - Connecting your Phone
In most cases you will connect your phone via a cable to your car to use the Android Auto application, however, in some of the newer models, you can also connect your phone wirelessly. Several aftermarket dongles will let you connect your phone wirelessly if your vehicle does not offer that option.
What Can Android Auto Do?
The biggest benefit of using Android Auto is that it is much simpler to use in your car than being on your phone. So, when it comes to what you can do with Android Auto the bar is being reset constantly. Currently, you can use voice commands to select anything from phone calls to texts to directions via Maps or Waze as well as enjoy your music and videos through your car speakers. The google assistant is also always standing by to help you with anything you might need whilst you are driving.
As mentioned all these functions can be controlled with voice commands so that you keep your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road - Safety First always. You will also notice that when you run the app on your phone, it’s designed to make things easier. Such as making the images and text larger so that it’s easier to read whilst driving. For a better experience, you might want to consider a new head unit as the screen is often much bigger which improves the overall experience substantially.
There is very little that you cannot do with Android Auto, it is designed to specifically make your driving experience better in every way. From entertainment to direction finding to information requests as well as the standard phone functionality like calls and messaging including emails etc. it should be noted that most systems will not let you watch videos whilst you are driving, to enjoy your favorite music video you would have to stop the car first.
Which manufacturers support Android Auto?
Currently, there are more than 500 brands that support Android Auto in either the vehicles or head units (car entertainment systems). Most vehicle manufacturers have included the option in their new models since 2017. But if you want to get an up-to-date listing of the compatible brands and vehicles all you need to do is go to the Android Auto website where all the latest details are easily found.
Like most applications, Android Auto is constantly being updated and so will keep on bringing you more functionality and features to improve your driving experience. Android Auto does not stand still and certainly will not stop innovating ways to make your daily commute more productive and convenient.