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Android Auto: What Is It and Steps to Use It
Infotainment systems have been an essential part of a car’s central consoles for a long time. However, it is difficult to say that they have provided a good user experience due to their slow responses and confusing interfaces. Thus, people across the world have come to rely on their smartphones for entertainment and in-car navigation.
Google launched Android Auto to solve people’s need for infotainment. Read on to know its crucial details.
What Is Android Auto?
Google launched Android Auto in 2015. It is a technology that helps you connect your smartphone to your car’s infotainment system. It enables you to view your phone screen on the infotainment display screen in the car.
A big benefit of Android Auto is that its developers use new development and data to regularly update navigation maps and apps. It includes updating information on newly built roads. Furthermore, certain apps can warn drivers of potholes and speed traps. People also benefit from accurate traffic updates.
How to Use Android Auto?
You must ensure that your phone runs any Android version between 6 and 11. This is mandatory for Android Auto to run properly on your phone. Please note that you need to install the Android Auto app on your phone. Furthermore, the radio and infotainment system in your car must be compatible with Android Auto.
Given below are the steps to connect to Android Auto:
Step 1: Check the internet connection on your phone. Remember that you require a strong WiFi or mobile data connection.
Step 2: Park your vehicle.
Step 3: Turn on your car’s engine.
Step 4: Switch on your phone.
Step 5: Connect your smartphone to your vehicle. You can use a USB cable for this purpose.
Step 6: Go through the terms and conditions for using Android Auto and accept it.
Step 7: Follow the on-screen instructions on your phone. Grant the app all required permissions if you have never set up Android Auto before.
Step 8: You will be able to see the Android Auto app on the infotainment display screen of your car.
After following the above-mentioned steps, you can plug your phone into the car to activate Android Auto whenever required.
What Can Android Auto Do?
Handling a phone while driving a car is difficult and dangerous. Android Auto addresses this concern. Experts have specially designed Android Auto for an automotive setting. This allows you to access compatible apps completely hands-free.
Given below are some of the essential functions of Android Auto:
- Hands-free receiving and making phone calls
- Texting and chatting
- Streaming music
- Audiobooks, podcasts and news streaming
The app uses a built-in weather card to show the conditions in the driver’s current location. This is extremely useful for long drives and road trips. Android Auto also successfully integrates the mobile phone’s dialer into the vehicle's infotainment system. Furthermore, it supports various voice and chat apps like Skype.
Suppose you are driving and you receive an important message. Android Auto will be able to read it out aloud. You can use a messaging app of your choice directly from the vehicle’s launcher screen. In addition, you can read and send important messages via WhatsApp without taking your eyes off the road.
You can customise Android Auto settings as per your convenience and needs. Additionally, you can personalise the app's launcher screen and set the dark mode.
How Does the Android Auto App Work?
Drivers can use this application in two ways—either as a standalone experience on their phone or as a compatible infotainment system or car radio in their vehicles. However, one must remember that they can avail a better experience by integrating the Android Auto app into a car’s compatible touchscreen radio.
Let us look at the details of these two methods:
- Standalone Experience: If someone wishes to use Android Auto by itself, they should open it after getting into the car and place their phone in an accessible mount. This way, one can benefit from hands-free calling while driving. The driver can easily read the phone display as well. Furthermore, one can pair their phone with Bluetooth-enabled radio in the car. The person can connect the phone via an FM transmitter or an aux cable as well. This enables the driver to access audio from Android Auto. For instance, this integration enables people to easily listen to Google Maps’ directions or music from Spotify.
- Connection With a Compatible System: One can connect their phone with a compatible infotainment system to facilitate a better experience. People can use USB or Bluetooth to connect Android Auto running on their phone with their vehicle. This enables the car’s system to mirror the phone's display screen. It reflects necessary information on the touchscreens of a car radio. These screens are bigger than the screens of the phone, making it convenient for the drivers to check for directions and play a song of their choice.
Does One Have to Pay for Android Auto?
One does not need any fee to purchase this app. It is readily available on Android-compatible smartphones. But one must note that one needs cellular data for using Android functions. However, individual apps like Spotify and Pandora may charge their own fees for certain premium features.
What Phones Does Android Auto Work With?
The main criteria for Android Auto to run properly on someone’s phone are that the phone should run Android 6.0 through Android 11. One should note that if a phone is slow and unresponsive, Android Auto will not run properly on the phone even if one has installed the latest version.
Wireless connectivity is available for any phone that is running Android 11.0 or above. Google/Samsung phones with Android 10.0 can also connect wirelessly.
What Car Does Android Auto Work With?
Android Auto works well with almost all major cars. Important automakers like Honda, Chevrolet, Kia, Volkswagen, Mercedes, Volvo, Toyota and Mazda offer Android Auto integration in their vehicles.
Tesla is an exception as this company does not support the integration of Android Auto in its electric vehicles.
How Can One Control Android Auto?
The answer to this is dependent on one’s vehicle. One has to connect Android Auto to their car system with Bluetooth or USB; subsequently, the app will use the car’s speakers and microphone.
One can issue voice commands for system management in every truck, car or SUV. In many cases, one can control the app by using the vehicle’s voice response button. Moreover, one can also control the entire system through the touchscreen display screen of the vehicle.
Does Android Auto Have Any Limitations?
Given below are the limitations of Android Auto:
- The app requires a cellular data connection to provide users with the requisite information. Rural areas have limited cellular service, so it might pose to be a problem. If an individual is driving with the help of Google Maps and data pack ends, they may get stranded/lost.
- Another disadvantage is that one can attach only one Android Auto-enabled device to their car at one point in time. This means that an individual cannot integrate one device for navigation and another for phone calls.
- Additionally, Android Auto does not have the ability to interact with major vehicle systems like vehicle dynamics, climate control and driver assistance features.
- Furthermore, one must note that not every app that one can download from Google Playstore has an Android Auto equivalent.
- Moreover, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay cannot work simultaneously on any car.
How Is It Android Auto Different from Apple Carplay?
Though Android Auto and Apple CarPlay have the same aim, i.e., providing an easy and secure way of accessing smartphones while on the road, they have a crucial difference.
One can use Android Auto only on Android-powered smartphones that run Android 6 or above. On the other hand, one needs to have an iPhone 5 or a newer model to run the CarPlay App.
One can use any USB cable to connect their smartphone to the car. For Apple devices, one needs a USB to lightning cable for connecting Apple devices.
This blog has enumerated all the crucial details related to the Android Auto app. One can learn what the app is all about and the steps to use it. Readers will get to know how they can drive more conveniently using this application.