Most automakers offer infotainment systems in cars and they’ve become pretty regular lately, with even small hatchbacks getting pretty decent infotainment systems. What started as a luxury feature attributed to premium sedans or SUVs is now a common feature across all car segments. Although these infotainment systems are offered as an incentive feature in newer vehicles, there are many older cars on the road that don’t have an infotainment system. However, if you plan to turn up the volume while driving and access new tech features to make travel easier, you can just use your Android phone.
Android Auto comes into play here and it’s very easy to use. This system lets you bring apps to your phone screen or car screen so you can focus while driving. Plus, you can control a host of features like navigation, calls, text messages, and music without much hassle while driving. That said, Android Auto doesn’t eliminate driver distraction, it’s still important to keep your attention on the road rather than the touchscreen or mobile devices.
The first step is to check if your phone is running Android 6.0 and later, an Android Auto compatible vehicle (meaning it includes controls such as a touchscreen, rotary knob or touchpad) and a cable USB. The latter is not required if your car already has wireless Android Auto capability.
With those sorted, here’s what you need to do to get Android Auto working on your car:
- Step 1: Download the Android Auto app for your smartphone. This feature is not required if you are using Android 10 or later.
- Step 2: Start your car and make sure it is parked.
- Step 3: Connect your phone via USB cable if your vehicle supports Android Auto via USB cable. A connected symbol may be displayed next to the USB connector.
- Step 4: If your car supports Android Auto both wirelessly and via USB cable, you will receive an alert on your phone offering to connect wirelessly on your next drive.
- Step 5: The first time, you may be asked to confirm that a code on your phone matches the one on your car screen. You won’t have to do this the next time you use the car.
- Step 6: Follow the on-screen prompts and grant all permissions if prompted.
- Step 7: Once activated, you won’t have to do much to launch Android Auto. Just enable “Android Auto automatically” on your phone and it will launch the app. If your car supports wireless Android Auto functionality, USB cable setup will not be required. Please make sure that Bluetooth and wireless connections are enabled and for connection follow the instructions same steps as mentioned above.
But the wireless feature has a downside as it drains your phone’s battery, compared to using wired Android Auto, which charges your phone on the go.
Even if your car doesn’t have a touchscreen or infotainment system, you can get smartphone support and download the Android Auto app to your smartphone and use it as your infotainment system.
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