Smartphone Integration: How To Use Android Auto


A quick review of Android Auto, what it does, and how to get it working

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If you don't already know what Android Auto is, it's a software application developed by Google for smartphones that run on the Android operating system. It is designed to mirror certain features of compatible Android mobile devices on the infotainment screen of a vehicle that is Android Auto-enabled. These are typically features that the driver needs to be able to access while driving their vehicles, such as music, navigation, and telephonic functions. Most modern smartphones run it without issues. The tips and tricks in this Android Auto review and guide aim to help answer your most pressing questions about using Android Auto.

What Android Auto Is Toyota

The Android Auto App

The Android Auto app connects a cellular phone to a vehicle, allowing the driver to access phone features via the vehicle's infotainment system. It also allows one to control and view phone information on the car's screen to reduce distraction. Large, clear icons and easily executed swipe gestures are used to control it. In 2015, Hyundai was the first automaker to start offering Android Auto in its Sonata.

How to Connect the Android Auto

How to connect and use Android Auto is easy. On most cars, you will get access to your phone's contact list and all the other apps that Android Auto supports.

  1. Connect your smartphone via a USB connection to your car's infotainment system.
  2. Connect via Bluetooth wireless connection in the case of modern Android Auto wireless-compatible cars that use Android without USB.
  3. Follow the instructions in your car's manual for Bluetooth pairing, compatibility requirements, and the Android Auto setup process to avoid any problems.
  4. Step three will usually only be necessary the first time you connect. From then on, your phone will automatically connect to your car when you get in, as long as your Bluetooth is switched on.
Menu Android Auto Porsche

Android Auto Features

The main Android Auto features are:

  • Navigation. Possibly Android Auto's biggest boon is that you can use multiple navigation apps on it. It offers turn-by-turn auto navigation right on your car's multimedia screen, even if your car has no native navigation app installed. What's more, besides the ubiquitous Google Maps, you can also use Waze on it.
  • Music. Several music-streaming apps and services are supported including Google Play Music, Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Music, and YouTube Music. With offline music now being available on most paid subscriptions, the tunes keep coming, even when you have no cellphone reception.
  • Calling. Of course, basic telephony services are available and contacts in your phonebook can be dialed using voice commands, and calls can be accepted at the press of a button. The call audio is played through the vehicle's speaker system. You might never even use this function, though, since most new cars have native Bluetooth calling functionality.
  • Messaging. Apps like WhatsApp and Hangouts are supported and messages are sent via voice commands and dictation functions. Notifications for incoming messages are also received via your car's infotainment system.
  • Google Assistant. This is an important component of Android Auto and gives you access to your phone's Google Assistant. It can be activated by either touching a control on the touchscreen or via a voice command. Use it to control your phone, ask questions, and do web searches, among other things.

What Cars Support Android Auto?

The number of automakers offering Android Auto on their vehicles is rapidly increasing and, soon, the vast majority will offer it. However, it is sometimes left off the list of standard features on base models. It can usually be added for a nominal fee, and setting it up is usually easy. Some of the many cars with Android Auto functionality include:

  • Volkswagen brands - Volkswagen and Audi
  • BMW Group brands - BMW and Mini
  • GM brands - Cadillac and Chevrolet
  • Ford brands - Ford and Lincoln
  • Stellantis brands - Chrysler, Jeep, Alfa Romeo, and Fiat
  • Hyundai/Genesis
  • Honda/Acura
  • Nissan/Infiniti
  • Toyota/Lexus
Connect Your Smartphone With Car BMW


Along with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto will soon be available on the vast majority of cars, offering you access to your contacts, navigation, and music via a wireless connection while you are driving. The list of supported vehicles is constantly expanding as more automakers add the feature in the interest of safety and discouraging drivers from handling their cellphones while driving. Even if you don't have a compatible car, you can download the app, mount your phone to the windscreen, and still use Android Auto's capabilities this way, interacting with your mounted phone much like a dash-top touchscreen.


Can I have Android Auto fitted to my car after-market?

Yes, many after-market head units are available that give your car an Android Auto-enabled infotainment system. Read as many reviews on them as possible, as this will help you choose the best one for your needs. Many recent cars can benefit from an after-market installation; in fact, even most 2019 Toyota models such as the Tacoma and Tundra had no Android Auto support.

How do I use Waze on Android Auto?

Install the Android Auto and Waze apps on your smartphone and make sure Waze is version 4.27 or higher. Launch Waze from your Android Auto screen in your car and use it just like you would normally. The map will be displayed on the infotainment screen and turn prompts will be issued through the audio system.

What do I need on my phone to use Android Auto?

Besides the app, your phone must have access to the internet. Ensure you have the latest software versions of the Android OS and Android Auto applications. If you are connecting via a cable, buy a high-quality USB cable.

Where is my Android Auto data stored?

Your car's infotainment system merely accesses your phone, so all your Android Auto data remains on your cellphone.

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