Android Auto Wireless – Not just navigation on the road


In order for people to benefit from the apps and functions of their smartphones, without affecting road safety, automotive companies implement systems for infotainment, very useful for using mobile devices.Among the most widely used systems that can be installed even after the car is manufactured is Android Auto, both this in its wired and wireless versions. The next few lines will focus on Android Auto wireless.

Driving safely is essential to safeguard your own safety, the safety of others and from the car itself. As much as strides are being made in recent years with regard to road safety and the use of related technology, more and more people are using smartphones while driving.

Android Auto Wireless: what it is

Before defining Android Auto Wireless it is appropriate to understand what Android Auto is. This term identifies an infotainment system that can be installed on one’s car, whether it comes directly from direct manufacture or from after-market supplementary devices.

An infotainment system is nothing more than a tool that through technology allows you to interconnect two types of compatible devices, usually your smartphone and a car dashboard with a screen.

By implementing an Android auto system, you simply take advantage of a tool capable of connecting your Android smartphone to an operating system installed on the car’s dashboard, taking advantage of its applications and using them as you would on your mobile device.

Android auto, in its traditional version, is usually wired, in fact you have to connect the two devices using a dedicated cable. While Android auto wireless leverages a wireless connection based mainly on NFS and Bluetooth technologies.

Android Auto Wireless: how it works

As much as Android Auto is a very useful tool for interacting with one’s smartphone while in the car, it is a good idea to understand how it works in order to take advantage of its potential.

In the wired version, users of such a tool need do no more than connect the Android system installed in the car’s infotainment to their smartphone, synchronizing the two devices so that they can exchange information useful for launching applications or web searches.

The wireless version of Android auto is a distinct evolution that does not require a direct connection to the car’s dashboard, but relies on wireless connectivity based on Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or NFC. As is easy to deduce, not all cars are compatible with such technologies, as much as smartphones, which are currently easily listed in a not-so-long list.

Android Auto Wireless: requirements

It is precisely the minimum requirements that need to be evaluated before installing or trying Android Auto wirelessly, in fact, the evaluation is to be done for both the Android operating system installed on the smartphone and the car itself.

Google itself has defined what are the minimum parameters to be met in order to install and use Android auto wirelessly without too many problems. Specifically, the company points out that for proper operation, one must have a smartphone with at least Android 11 and a 5 GHz Wi-Fi network. In case you owned a Samsung or Google smartphone, the Android version could also be Android 10. Samsung Galaxy S8, S8+ and Note 8 models can take advantage of Android wireless auto even with an Android 9 operating system.

Android Auto Wireless: features

The use of this technological tool, capable of launching music tracks, voice assistant, maps and more is on the rise due to the many features that can be taken advantage of. As much as most people take advantage of Android Auto wireless to receive and forward calls, many other interesting features can be identified, including those below.

1. Can also be used without a car
2. Applications
3. Navigation
4. Updates
5. Cable-free but not only
6. Compatibility

1. Can be used even without a car: not everyone knows that Android auto can work safely even without connecting it to the car. Although the main development is directed toward linking with the in-vehicle system, even placing it directly on the dashboard with a holder can be exploited for its main functions, which can be obviated by the smartphone itself and not by the target vehicle.

2. Applications: a feature that has made Android wireless car a viable alternative to the more famous Apple CarPlay is its versatility with common applications. By taking advantage of the smartphone’s microphones, the system will be able to launch compatible software from the central system without too much trouble. Certainly the number of applications is growing, but in the next few lines we will delve into the most widely used ones.

3. Navigation: there is no doubt that Android Auto Wireless is mainly used for road navigation, taking advantage of the potential of Google Maps. Most users store points of interest on Google Maps, and then easily reuse them on their cars by synchronizing them with their Google account. Navigation can be initiated either with the voice assistant or via the touch screen interface of one’s car, as well as from the smartphone itself. Taking advantage of Maps allows you to have excellent travel time management and eliminate potential hazards while using your smartphone on the road.

4. Updates: installing Android auto on your devices also means taking advantage of its updates over time. Google is a company known for taking special care of its software, implementing new features and speeding up interaction even on dated systems. As much as choosing a particular technology may seem limiting, in reality any car can upgrade its infotainment system as the years go by. It is no accident that Android auto wireless is being installed in cars with dated systems that are no longer compatible with modern solutions.

5. Wireless but not limited to: when installing such a tool, one is led to think that one must necessarily connect it via a wireless connection. In reality, as will be highlighted in the next few lines, this technology also has critical points, which can be avoided by taking advantage of the wired connection. In fact, a wired Android auto system will hardly be able to connect wirelessly to its smartphone, while a wireless system supports wired connection without any problem. Many users prefer to install a Wi-Fi chip to make their car smart and connect it to Android auto without the cable, but the criticality increases significantly.

6. Compatibility: one of the most attractive features of wireless Android Auto is its compatibility with an important number of applications. People are often led to think that one necessarily needs to have a high-performance, modern system; in fact, by using the appropriate devices, such as those from Google or Samsung, one can make the most of such a tool even in dated vehicles and smartphones. Google is constantly updating the compatibility list, facilitating even those who change vehicles or smartphones over time.

Android Auto Wireless: compatible applications

The number of software compatible with Android auto wireless is really high, by going to the Google Play Store you will be able to check the supported applications, these are displayed with a steering wheel icon.

As it is easy to deduce, this tool, being a form of on-screen projection of one’s smartphone, allows one to use most of the software developed for Android. In addition to the more common calling function, navigation apps, such as Google Maps and Waze, or messaging apps such as WhatsApp, Telegram, and Messenger can be launched with Android Auto.

The potential extends to video calling applications, although the most stable one is Skype. For music lovers, Spotify and Google Play Music are available, as well as Amazon Music and Podcasts, an application dedicated to those who enjoy such a listening tool. For those who prefer to listen to audiobooks and podcasts while driving, the Anchor, Audible and Audiobooks applications can be installed in addition to Podcasts.

Applications are constantly being updated and may increase depending on the Android version installed on your system.

Android Auto Wireless: compatible cars

In recent years, the large car companies that have decided to implement Android auto in their system are many. As easy as it is to find a car that has both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay installed, there is no denying that the system created by Google provides greater versatility and compatibility.

Major brands such as Ferrari, Fiat, Ford, Alfa Romeo, Mazda, and Mercedes-Benz provide updated and efficient systems. As can be deduced, a car with a few years on its back might only support wired Android Auto, while newer generation cars will almost certainly have wireless Android Auto integration.

The list of compatible cars is updated periodically on the official Android auto page. To check if your car is listed, simply click here.

Android Auto Wireless: advantages

The exponential expansion of wireless Android Auto systems comes mainly from its advantages. The main ones can be encapsulated into seven macro categories:

1. Security
2. Navigation
3. Versatility
4. Periodic updates.
5. Cost
6. Voice assistant
7. Comfort

1. Safety: in order for road safety to be improved, it is essential to avoid using smartphones while driving. Android auto has the ability to not only work through the voice assistant, but display all on-screen activities to you quickly and without marked distractions. Managing road safety in the best way can preserve one’s own and others’ physical integrity.

2. Navigation: most infotainment systems built into cars, however much they offer a good map for navigation, are hardly updated. Making use of Google Maps or Waze allows you to stay up-to-date and synchronize stops with your smartphone in a matter of seconds. Checking traffic or simply the presence of speed cameras in real time is an advantage not to be underestimated when driving.

3. Versatility: an absolutely important benefit of Android wireless car is its ability to adapt to most devices on the market equipped with the Android operating system. Accessing the main system with multiple devices, whether they are their own or those of their passengers, allows this ecosystem to be particularly useful not only to the owner of the car, but also to other family members who want to use it.

4. Periodic updates: relying on Google can also benefit you in constant updates. Android auto, in both its wired and wireless versions, is periodically updated, improving not only responsiveness but also interaction with available technologies. Both one’s smartphone and car system can make updates and improve overall performance, although it is not recommended to upgrade on cars that are too old; in many cases the available hardware does not guarantee better performance.

5. Cost: the nature of Android Auto’s operating system makes its use completely free. Therefore, one will not have to invest a sum of money to purchase the operating system, but will only have to check that the smartphone and car are compatible. In case the car does not have an infotainment screen, then one could install an after market product and install Android auto, either wireless or wired. In this case the cost would be related to the screen and the device purchased.

6. Voice Assistant: when using Android auto, wired or wireless, you can benefit from interaction with Google Assistant. Through Google’s in-house voice assistant, one will be able to launch all installed and compatible applications, as well as initiate and receive phone calls. Specifically, phone calls will be heard directly through the car’s speakers, while as for the microphone, the smartphone itself will pick up the incoming audio. Voice assistant management is certainly very useful for those who want to improve road safety and eliminate distractions while driving.

7. Comfort: the technological advancement from wired Android auto to wireless Android auto was prompted by a user need: convenience. As much as the presence of a cable on the car’s dashboard may not be disturbing, there is no denying that the complete absence of cables and hookups makes driving much more comfortable, as well as safer. Starting your car and automatically synchronizing it to your smartphone via BT is quick and convenient.

Android Auto Wireless: disadvantages

The quality of Android Auto is unquestionable, but one must also evaluate what are the critical points of such technology. Certainly a wired system is less comfortable in daily use, but it almost completely eliminates the associated problems. But what are the cons of wireless Android auto?

1. Minimum requirements.
2. Unstable on some devices
3. Not all car brands
4. Latency

1. Minimum requirements: as versatile a technology as it is and suitable for most devices currently on the market, in order for you to make the best use of Android auto it is essential to check that your car and smartphone meet the minimum requirements. Choosing devices of the latest generation is unlikely to induce compatibility problems, but those who own a vehicle with a few years on its back should necessarily install a device that can be purchased separately.

2. Unstable on some devices: several users have experienced minor instability problems with Android auto, especially in the wireless version. As can be inferred, this condition is mainly due to connection via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or NFC. Depending on the technology used, more or less noticeable problems may be encountered; in fact, those who own smartphones with BT 5.0 or higher have manifested fewer inconveniences than those who own devices with BT 4.0 or lower.

But to think of using wireless technology without incurring interference is almost impossible.

3. Not all car brands: one of the disadvantages of using Android auto wireless lies in the limitation on some cars. As anticipated in the previous lines, it is possible to implement such a tool only on the cars listed on the official Android auto page, effectively limiting older models.

Certainly the installation of an external control unit or car radio could make up for this deficiency, but one should not overlook the fact that to employ Android auto one must first take a look at compatible infotainment.

4. Latency: perhaps the real problem of Android auto wireless lies precisely in the latency during its use. Although this condition is completely absent with a wired line, those who use wireless technology may experience issues related to connection speed.

In addition to the interference that can occur while using Android auto, it should be kept in mind that the response between input and command execution is definitely not lightning fast. Latency, i.e., the time between command input and output, increases with dated connectivity; in fact, a BT 5.2 almost zeroes out this parameter, while it remarks it with a Bluetooth 5.0 or lower.

Android Auto Wireless: common errors

Even those who own a car and a compatible smartphone may run into some trivial mistakes when using Android auto wireless. Specifically, five major mistakes can be made:

1. Operating system: installing an overly up-to-date operating system on your smartphone may be an unproductive idea if you do not also update your device in the car. In fact, to communicate best, the two devices must be aligned with the same update.

2. Connection type: several users spend whole minutes trying to connect to their Android Audio wireless using the wrong connection. As anticipated, not all infotainment systems use BT; some of them also fruit a local Wi-Fi network or NFC. Verifying the type is essential.

3. After-market device: buying a car radio with a touch screen and Android auto is a common action by users who want such technology on board. However, it must be considered that some devices cannot be used in the best way if they do not have the support of the automotive company.

4. BT near: error to be highlighted with red pen when using Android Auto wireless is to be found in interference with other BT sources in the passenger compartment. Those who install a system with Bluetooth should turn off the BT of other mobile devices in the car for best performance. In many cases the same frequencies are used and these may conflict with each other. The newer the BT technology used, the less interference will be present.

5. Connection: Recurring problem is disconnection between the two devices while you are using them. Although the installation of a wireless network is fast and stable, when you first start the two systems, you should interface them with a wired connection. Although not a necessary condition, it could eliminate most of the problems experienced with wireless Android auto.

Android Auto Wireless: troubleshooting

The problems that can occur with wireless Android auto are not many, but in case you have inconveniences, it is worth checking these conditions.

Compatibility: first you need to check that your smartphone and car system are compatible with Android auto wireless. As reported on the official Google page, systems running Android 11 or later have no particular issues. Compatibility also applies to after-market devices.

Start on the display: the two devices do not always pair automatically, in some cases due to a failed connection in others that a more obvious error. Before starting Android auto on your smartphone, it is advisable to first do so on your car display infotainment. If the connection did not occur, it could be associated manually by turning airplane mode on and off.

Empty the cache: In many cases, daily use of Android auto fills the cache memory of the auto system. In order for it to be emptied you should go to settings and press storage. Select the cache entry and arrange for its deletion.

Reboot your smartphone: as trivial as it may be, in many cases rebooting your smartphone can restore the proper connection between your mobile device and your car device. Turning all connections off and on will help stabilize the connection and achieve maximum performance.

Eliminate interference: many people use external BT speakers in their cars. As much as modern Android Auto systems allow 5 GHz frequencies to be used to eliminate interference, some after-market systems still have 2.4 GHz connectivity. This condition causes the devices to conflict and malfunction in an unpleasant manner. Removing potentially troublesome products could solve connection and latency problems.

Contacting the company: in case no mode of action is sufficient to eliminate the problems with Android auto, you should contact the service of the manufacturer of your vehicle. In some cases, inconvenience may be experienced because of a manufacturing error and not necessarily because of the software used. Each automaker has a replacement or warranty plan for failed items.

In this case, however, it is essential that the car is covered by insurance or is under warranty, otherwise the only solution lies in physically changing the car radio to the infotainment system. There are plenty of compatible products available on the market from the most popular brands, ensuring compatibility with both Android and iOS smartphones.

Latency: so many drivers try to reduce the latency of their Android auto system, especially when making calls. For this to be possible, it is advisable to have modern devices that have quality BT or a stable 5 GHz Wi-Fi connection. Bringing the smartphone closer to the dashboard might be a solution, but in many cases it will not change the outcome of slowdowns. Having an older generation Bluetooth makes calling with other people almost frustrating.

Android Auto Wireless: conclusions

Those who use Android auto wireless on a daily basis can benefit from a system that is useful for navigation on the road, but also a tool that extends to the entire Google world. Starting a song, or simply using the voice assistant, makes your car smart and significantly improves safety on the road. To be sure, wireless technology has its flaws, but with the right measures it is possible to limit them.