Android Auto is very similar to Apple CarPlay. It allows you to use your Android smartphone through your car’s entertainment system. There are so many benefits to this and between this and the alternative, some customers do not want a car unless this feature is included.
In this article, we will tell you what Android Auto is and how you can use it within your car.
What is Android Auto?
Developed by Google in response to Apple’s own system, Android Auto allows you to access a number of apps along with important notifications directly on your vehicle’s screens without needing to pickup or hold the device.
If you car has Android Auto included, all you need to do is plugin a cable and allow access to the devices. Only a select number of apps will be available, those that have been deemed safe to use whilst driving.
These apps include messaging applications such as Whatsapp, Satellite Navigation apps such as Waze or Google Maps, and music streaming apps such as BBC Sounds or Spotify.
How do I use Android Auto?
If you’ve received your shiny new car and it has Android Auto, the quickest way to get started is by using a USB cable, even if the vehicle has Wireless Android Auto (more on this later).
Your car recognises your Android phone and you will be required to give permissions for the car to access the functions on your smartphone, just click on accept.
Once accepted, on the screen you will see a number of apps that are available to use with Android Auto whilst the car’s ignition is on.
Voice control comes a major part of using Android Auto, with commands such as ‘navigate me to work’ or ‘play BBC Radio 1’. You’ll be able to dictate messages via the messages app or Whatsapp and even as the system to call your family and friends.
Does my device support Android Auto?
If you have an Android device running Android v.10 or above, the answer should be yes. But always check the documentation that comes with your phone. Most modern phones from Samsung, Google, Sony and OnePlus have Android Auto available as standard.
If you have an Apple iPhone, the answer is a clear no. But you do have the option of Apple CarPlay.
Which cars have Android Auto?
The number of manufacturers that offer Android Auto is increasing all of the time, so it is difficult to provide a list at this time. But here is a list of our current vehicles available with Android Auto:
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are a few questions we get asked about Android Auto from customers:
Yes, Android Auto on your Android device is free to use. However, some manufacturers are charging a fee to activate Android Auto in your car or even charge a monthly subscription.
Wireless Android Auto is available on a number of vehicles, which is growing all of the time. At the moment it is only a handful of cars. Always check with the dealer or sales person if you specifically need a car with the cable-free version.
The system Android Auto uses very little data, but the applications that you may use with the system may use additional data.
Those worst offenders for data usage including music streaming services such as Spotify, Amazon Music or BBC Sounds.
Navigation software will also use data to download maps (especially satellite imagery) and traffic information.
Using Android Auto is much safer than picking up your phone and using it, which is also illegal.
By having the apss just a fingertouch away or via voice control, you will spend less time looking away from the roads.
No, Apple has it’s own in-car system called Apple CarPlay. It is very similar to Android Auto and still allows you access to navigation, music streaming apps and the phones basic functions such as calling and texting.
Android Auto offers compatibility with a wide range of popular apps, helping you enhance your driving experience with a variety of features and functions. Here are some of the most popular apps that work seamlessly with Android Auto:
- Google Maps: A widely used application that provides real-time traffic updates, easy to follow turn-by-turn directions and voice controls of easy use.
- Spotify: One of the leading music streaming platforms, Spotify allows you to access a vast library of songs, playlists and podcasts including one of our favourite; Parenting Hell.
- WhatsApp: You can stay connected with family, friends and work colleagues using the WhatApp Android Auto integration. It allows you to send and receive messages, make voice calls and dictate messages on-the-go.
- Waze: A community-based navigation app, that provides real-time traffic updates, road hazards, speed checks and more. You can also contribute towards the app by providing information about accidents, police presence and road closures.