Android is one of the most used OS on smartphones which packs some notable features such as Google Maps, Android Auto & More. If you frequently travel in Cars to unfamiliar places then you need an effective guide for you. And here comes the role of Android Auto. Not only for navigation, but it also keeps you focused on driving by bringing all required smartphone functions to your Car’s dashboard. Here we are going to explain How to Use Android Auto along with other Android Auto information.
Android Auto is similar to CarPlay which is also used for the same purpose. But your smartphone plays an important role as if you have an Android phone then you can use Android Auto and if you have an iPhone, you can use CarPlay.
Android Auto support also depends on the Car & Android phone you own. To enjoy the Android Auto feature your Car or Stereo should support Android Auto. Luckily most of the newer cars come with support for Android Auto and CarPlay. So if you want to use Android Auto or CarPlay, you can check if the car supports the service before buying.
If you own an old car that does not have Android Auto support by default, then you can get it installed on your Car from some popular services.
What is Android Auto?
Android Auto is a smart driving companion app that brings Navigation, Entertainment, Phone, Messages, Android Assistant to your Car’s display. As you can guess from its name, it is based on Android, so to use Android Auto you need to have an Android phone. Android Auto keeps you focused on driving and brings all phones, and notifications to the car displays. It means you do not have to use your phone while driving and also get the right directions.
More than 500 car models support Android Auto which will keep increasing with new car launches. Almost all the new Cars come with inbuilt Android Auto support. Let’s now check which Android phone is eligible for Android Auto.
Android Auto Compatible Phones
Android Auto is compatible with all Android phones running Android 6.0 or later. Smartphones with Android 9 or older versions do not have Android Auto preinstalled, so to use Android Auto you have to install it manually from Play Store. While Android 10 or newer versions come with Android Auto pre-installed. You can later update the Android Auto application from the Play Store. To connect your Android phone to Android Auto you can use a USB cable or Bluetooth for wireless connection.
Android Auto also supports wireless connectivity but for limited phones that meet all the requirements. And so if you like to connect your Android phone to Android Auto wirelessly then check the requirement below.
- Phone with Android 11 or later
- All Samsung and Google Android Phones with Android 10 or later
- Samsung Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, or Note 8, with Android 9.0 or later
If you have a phone that passes the requirement for Android Auto compatible phones, then check out three more conditions. The Android phone must have support for 5Ghz WiFi and should be connected to an active internet connection. And obviously, the phone must be running the latest version of the Android Auto application. If these three conditions meet then your Android phone is compatible with Wireless projection.
So if you have any Android phone compatible with Android Auto, you are good to use Android Auto on your supported Car. So once you have an Android phone and a car that supports Android Auto, check how you can connect your phone to your Car and enjoy the Android Auto on the Car’s dashboard.
How to Use Android Auto
Here in this section, we will guide you to enjoy the Android Auto feature on your Car’s display. This lets you easily access Google Maps to navigate, you can even try third party Map applications, Spotify & other Music streaming apps, Messaging, Dialer, and more. Android Auto controls depend on the Android device and the Car model. Some Cars have inbuilt buttons to activate Google Assistant, Volume controls, and more. But connecting to Android Auto is the same for all Cars. So let’s start the guide in steps.
Check for Android Auto Compatible Cars and Phones
The first thing you need to do is verify if your Car or Stereo supports Android Auto. If not then either you will have to buy a new car or install the supported Stereo in your old Car. While for Android phones, you need a phone running Android 6.0 or later. Install the Android Auto app on your phone, and update it if already installed on your Android smartphone.
Connect to Internet
To use Android Auto on your Car, you must connect your phone to the internet. It is obvious as most of the features require internet and so make sure to connect your phone to the internet either using Mobile Data or WiFi.
Connect your Android phone to your Car
Once you have a compatible car and Android device, you are good to proceed with the connection. For connecting the phone, you will need a USB cable. For Android 11 or above, you can also use Bluetooth for connection, but USB is recommended for better Android Auto performance. All you have to do is connect your phone to the available port in your Car.
Setup Android Auto
Now download & Install Android Auto & Android Auto phone screens (not compulsory) apps and set up the app. Grant all permission that the app will ask. If you skip any permission, your Car’s display may give the connecting error. Also, make sure the main Android Auto application is up to date.
Run the Android Auto in Car’s Display
Once your Phone is connected to your Car, you will see the Android Auto application on your Car’s display. Click on the Android Auto and it will take you to another home screen where you will find Android Auto apps like Google Maps, Spotify, Dialer, Messaging app, and some other Music apps installed on your phone. The Android Auto home screen will look like an Android tablet. You will also have Google Assistant, Home Button, and the running application as the control menu.
That’s it, now you can access any application or service available in Android Auto. Do note that only apps that are installed on your phone will appear on your Car’s display. Now let’s check which type of applications you can use in Android Auto in the features section.
Android Auto Features
Navigation: The main objective of the Android Auto companion app is distraction-free driving and navigation. Android Auto supports Google Maps, Waze, and other applications that guide you to reach your destination even if you don’t know the route. Many have tested and Android Auto has better navigation than Apple CarPlay. Well, it may vary in different regions. The navigation includes Routes, Real-time alerts, parking, charging stations, or anything that you can find in Google Maps.
Google Assistant: This is one of the main features of Android Auto which allows users to enjoy all Android Auto features without lifting their hands from the steering wheel. Even some Cars have an inbuilt button on the steering wheel to launch Google Assistant and Siri. As you know Google Assistant is used worldwide and understands many languages easily which makes it special.
Communication: We all keep our phones mainly for Communication and this can be dangerous if we use mobile phones while driving. And so Android Auto also takes care of this while driving. It keeps you updated with the latest notifications and calls so you can stay focused on driving. You can make calls either with touch or using Google Assistant.
Enjoy Music: Android Auto supports many Music applications like Spotify, Google Play Music, YouTube Music, and more. You can trigger Google Assistance to play your favorite track, albums, radio, read news and play podcasts or audiobooks. Make sure that the application must be installed on your Android phone.
Wireless Connectivity: What if you forgot to bring the USB cable, don’t worry you can connect your phone wirelessly with your Car’s stereo system. For this function to work, you need an Android phone with Android 11 or newer and 5GHz WiFi support. The Car or Stereo should also have Bluetooth features for wireless connection. Here are detailed points for Android versions supporting wireless connection:
- Android 11 or newer version
- Google and Samsung devices with Android 10 or new update
- Samsung Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8+, or Note 8, with Android 9.0 or newer
Easy Controls: The new version of Android Auto comes with a very simple user interface just like using an Android Tablet. All the app icons will be available on the Android Auto home screen that you can open and close with touch or voice commands.
So now you have a brief idea of how to use Android Auto on cars and Stereo along with Android Auto features and more. Android Auto is a helpful tool as it keeps us far away from accidents. If you have a car with a display on the dashboard and an Android phone, then you should give it a try. Although it is not perfect, it can still amaze you with some awesome features. The Android Auto will keep improving with future updates. We will keep you posted on the guide also for newer versions.
FAQs on Android Auto
Android Auto is itself a big topic and I know a few guides will not give all the answers to your questions. So, if you have any doubts regarding Android Auto, check out the FAQs. It may help to resolve your doubts.
Android Auto is a smart companion app that works with the help of the Android Auto application on Android Phones. The Car display just provides a way to present in a big display and let you interact with the software. To make it work you need a compatible Android phone, Car, and a USB. Connect your Phone with the Car’s display using USB and enjoy the Android Auto on your Car and Stereo.
Android Auto supports connecting with USB and even wireless using Bluetooth. To connect with a USB cable, you need an Android phone with Android 6 or newer, a Car or Stereo with Android Auto Support, and a USB cable. And for a Wireless connection, you need a phone with 5GHz WiFi support.
The main task of Android Auto is to create a distraction-free environment for safe driving. And to complete the task Android Auto supports a bunch of Navigation apps, Communication apps, entertainment apps, and Google Assistant. These include Google Maps, Phone, Message, Spotify, Waze, YouTube Music, Play Music, Play Books, News, and more Android apps.
Android Auto requires an active data plan to work. But the amount of data usage can vary as per requirement. If you use Android Auto for only navigation then it will not use much data, but when you stream online music, it can consume even in GB. So overall the amount of data usage in Android Auto depends on the user.
Nowadays most cars come with Android Auto support by default. But if you have an old car, then you can install a Stereo system on the car that supports Android Auto. There are many popular stereos available with Android Auto support. Some manufacturers even ask for the Android Auto add-on if the car doesn’t have it by default.
Android Auto supports wireless connectivity for a bunch of Android phones. You can connect your Android phone to Car’s display by pairing your phone using Bluetooth. After pairing, run the Android Auto application and then you can access Android Auto on your car. Not all phones support wireless Android Auto connection so check out the Android Auto compatible phones list above.
To get more apps on your Android Auto, you only have to install those apps on your phone. And the Android Auto will auto-detect all apps that it supports which you can access from the Car’s display. It only supports apps that don’t distract you from driving like music streaming, navigation, phone, messaging, and more.
Yes, you can update your Android Auto. All you have to do is go to the Play Store and search for Android Auto. And then update the Android Auto application. When you connect your phone to Car’s dashboard, it will show the latest version of Android Auto.
So, there you have it, the complete guide on How to Use Android Auto. I hope the FAQ section also clarifies your doubts. In case of any suggestions, comment down below.