Android Auto: How to Get and Enable Android Auto in your Car?

Last Updated: August 13, 2018
Android Auto

Android Auto is a smart driving app developed by Google to interact with mobile while driving with minimum distraction. Android Auto enables the drivers to mirror the features of Android apps direct on the car dashboard screen. You can use from 100 of apps that are currently compatible with it while new apps are coming to store. The Google Assistant directly integrated to with Android Auto. This brings you a powerful search feature from Google right into your fingertips while you drive. You can ask the questions directly through car’s mic and Google assistance will bring you the result and read for you while you drive.

Let’s see more details about Android Auto, the features available, country availability and the apps available for Android in this Android Auto Guide.

Content

    1. What is Android Auto?
    2. How to get Android Auto on My Car?
    3. Is Android Auto available in my country?
    4. Which Cars come with Android Auto?
    5. Is Android Auto is compatible with my device?
    6. Which Apps work with Android Auto?
    7. The difference between Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
    8. Is Google Assistant available for Android Auto?
    9. How do I turn off Android Auto from AutoStarting?
    10. How do I turn on driving mode on my Android phone?
    11. What to do if my car doesn’t support Android Auto?
    12. How can I connect Android Auto (wirelessly)?
    13. How to Set Waze as Default on Android Auto?
    14. Is Waze compatible with Android Auto?
    15. Can I use Podcast with Android Auto?
    16. What are the Best Android Auto Head Units?
    17. Does Android Auto work with Tesla?
    18. What if my Android Auto doesn’t Work?

What is Android Auto?

Android Auto is Google’s proprietary app available on Google Play Store. This is used for mirroring most of the app from an Android device to car’s built-in dashboard. Android Auto is designed with an intuitive interface, large button panels and full integration of Google  Assistant (Google Assistant integration is available only in the US now).

Android Auto Dash Board

The first announcement happened in Google I/O 2014 while the application itself released by Google on March 2015. Hyundai is the first car manufacturer which offer Android Auto support with its version Sonata sedan. After its successful run, a number of companies started giving Auto support.

Android Auto works with any android device and runs on supported car models. To make full use of this you must go through following list of pre-requisites:

  • Device OS: The Android device must have OS version 5.0 or above. For better performance, OS should have 6.0 (Marshmallow)
  • Active Internet connection: Some of the application like iHeart Radio, Waze may require internet connectivity. To enjoy an uninterrupted service your device must have an active Internet connectivity.
  • USB Cable:  For Mirroring, You must have to use any high-quality data cable that is supported by the car’s USB dock and your phone. Since many phone manufacturer now provides travel adapter which includes head-adapter and a USB cable so you can use them for device connectivity.
  • Compatible Head-Unit: Not all car manufacturer supports Android auto, so you also need check compatible vehicle or compatible third-party radio to fit into your car.

AndroidAuto_MainScreen

How to get Android Auto on My Car?

First of all, make sure your car is listed in the compatible list of Android Auto. You can see an Android Auto or Apple Car Play icon in your dashboard screen if your car support. Now go through the checklist above to make sure you have all pre-requests. If you don’t have Android Auto, please go and download Android Auto from PlayStore. Once the installation is done, you will be asked for necessary permissions. Which you need to permit, in order to run the app successfully.

Android_Auto_Download_Steps

Then proceed with connecting Andriod device with car USB panel. Once you attach correctly both ends and tap on Android Auto app on your device, it will show you default cards on the car’s dashboard. You can see Music, Calls, Messages and other apps based on availability and select them based on your need.

Is Android Auto available in my country?

Android Auto is available in a couple of countries, not all countries are supported by Android Auto at this moment. The supported countries include USA, UK, Canada, India, Austraila, etc. Here is the full list of Android Auto available countries below.

ArgentinaAustraliaAustria
BoliviaBrazilCanada
ChileColombiaCosta Rica
Dominican RepublicEcuadorFrance
GermanyGuatemalaIndia
IrelandItalyJapan
MexicoNew ZealandPanama
ParaguayPeruPuerto Rico
RussiaSpainSwitzerland
United KingdomUnited StatesUruguay
Venezuela

You may need to check whether the application is available for your region. You can take a look on the updated list available on Android Auto availability. If you see that app is not available for your region then you can apply some steps as given here.

Which Cars come with Android Auto?

Over 400 car models do support Android Auto including Accura, Austin Martin, Audi, GMC, etc. The supporting vehicles for Android Auto is expanding day by day and more vehicles manufactures are on the future list.

Android Auto Compatible CarYou need to check with either car dealers or their websites. Moreover, supported vehicle brand & models list are also available on Android website.

Is Android Auto is compatible with my device?

Any Android device that runs on Android 5.0 (Lollipop) or higher will be able to run Android Auto application. However, Google recommends 6.0 Marshmallow for best performance. If you don’t have Android Auto in your mobile phone, you can check Android Auto from PlayStore and make sure you are allowed to download Android Auto for your phone.

Note: There are no issues on running AA even if the device is rooted.

Which Apps work with Android Auto?

Now you can play music, talk to someone handsfree, send a message to your boss and even check the estimated time to reach your destination. All this can be now possible through mirroring apps which enables interaction with third-party apps directly to the car’s dashboard.

Android Auto supports a handful number of apps, thanks to Google we have now more than 100 apps that we can use on car in-dash unit. These include a varied range of podcasts, radio, music and communication apps. Some of the examples include Google Maps, Waze, Messenger, WhatsApp, Google Play music and many more. You can see the complete list of apps available for Android Auto.

The difference between Android Auto and Apple CarPlay

Android Auto is a fitting reply from Google in response to Apple Carplay. Apple unveiled Carplay in the Year 2014, with an aim to mirror most of the apps on the car’s built-in display. It works best with iOS 7.1 and iPhone 5 or later.

Set Waze Default on iPhone CarPlay

Similar to Google Assistant, Apple CarPlay is also coupled with Siri that works well enough for driving scenarios. Moreover, it includes Calling, Messages, Music and many more third-party apps that can make your drive more pleasant. We have compared both of them on three parameters which include:

Map Apps: Android app supports both Google Maps and Waze. Google will allow you to set your own default navigation Map from Google Map or Waze. Apple CarPlay only supports Apple’s Maps app. Even though your iPhone has Google Map or Waze, the CarPlay app won’t allow to open in CarPlay and will not be available on the dashboard screen.

Accessibility: While Apple CarPlay believes in simplicity, Google locks horn with detailed functions. That said, a number of third-party application is supported by Android Auto, while Apple keeps this at a certain level.

Features: Both of the applications are loaded with a good number of features and holding a tug-of-war competition to provide a great user experience for any trip.

In addition to this, Android won’t allow you to work with your phone while connecting to the Android Auto Dashboard. Apple CarPlay doesn’t have any such restrictions, you can still work on your iPhone while connecting to Apple CarPlay to your Car Dash Board.

Is Google Assistant available for Android Auto?

Yes, Google Assistant is now available for Android Auto which actually wins many new and existing customers in terms of popularity. Just say “Ok, Google” followed by any action and it will do that for you.

Android Auto Google Assistance Mic

At this moment, Google Assitant integration is allowed only in the US. You have to long press Car’s talk button to activate Google Assitance. Google assistance will transfer most of your questions while you drive. You can make the most common requests through Google Assinace with Android Auto, like;

  • Make a call to a number from the contact list.
  • Send a message to a number in the contact list.
  • Reply to a message that you received
  • Get directions to a place (Android auto will handle the information to default map app to route you).
  • Listen to Music from iHeart Radio or supported apps.

Android Auto Google Assistance

However, the visual result listing like image or video play with Google Assistance is limited with Android Auto for safety. Apart from this, you can also perform several more actions based on car model features.

Android Auto Speak Button

You can ask a couple of questions that we search on Google. You have to long press speak button on the steering wheel to enable the Google Assistant.

  • “How much Android Pixel 2 cost?”
  • “How far Calfornia from here?”
  • “When is Apple going to launch next iPhone?”
  • “How much Aston Martin Vanquish cost?”

You can ask most of your Google Search questions here and Android Auto will answer for these questions through Car Audi System.

How do I turn off Android Auto from AutoStarting?

Android Auto app will automatically turn ON whenever the device Bluetooth settings are open and connected to the car. If you don’t want to connect your car automatically, you can turn this off. Go ahead through the steps here to turn off Android Auto by turning on automatically;

  1. Open Android Auto from Android Phone.
  2. Select the menu icon in the top left
  3. Tap on Settings
  4. Scroll down and tap Auto Launch
  5. Turn off the Settings.

How do I turn on driving mode on my Android phone?

Depends on your car model, sometimes you may need to tap on Android Auto-icon from Car Dash screen. Most of the car models, after connecting to Android auto from your car’s aftermarket unit all you need to tap on Navigation sign.

This will open a similar like Google Maps screen with all details (like destination, start point etc). You may require to turn ON GPS and Bluetooth settings before start using this service.

What to do if my car doesn’t support Android Auto?

Of course, not all models started supporting Android Auto integration. So you may need to either purchase compatible aftermarket Android Auto Compatible head unit or visit a nearest car manufacturer service center. But before that, you can look into a list for Android Auto supported car brands and models.

How can I connect Android Auto (wirelessly)?

Currently, only Nexus and Pixel devices support wireless connectivity with Android Auto. Other than that at this year JVC KW-V940BW or Kenwood Head models like Kenwood Excelon DDX9905S introduced several auto head unit that will support wireless connectivity. But that may cost you minimum $600 -$800 bucks. Besides, the device Auto app must update to version 3.1 to support wireless connectivity feature.

Is Waze compatible with Android Auto?

Waze is another traffic and navigation app similar to Google Maps. Waze is a community-based map and widely famous for real-time traffic report and road hazard reports by the users.Android Auto Waze AssistantAndroid Auto is supporting Waze like Google map and you can decide either one of the navigation apps to use on Android Auto.

How to Set Waze as Default on Android Auto?

Once you start to use Waze as your default map app, then Android auto will send all location instructions to Waze. Any time you can switch between Waze and Google Maps by taping the Android Auto Navigation button.Set Waze Default Android Auto

If you want to switch the default app, tap on Nav button from car display, tap on the desired Map app. The voice commands and instructions related to the navigation will pass to the default navigation app. Please check here to Change Default Navigation App on Android.

Can I use Podcast with Android Auto?

Yes, of course, you can now tune podcast and listen to your favorite music. but for the time being you need to hold your horses as there is news which suggests about google podcast support on Android auto will be available very soon.

What are the Best Android Auto Head Units?

Thso whos doesn’t have Android Auto compatible car; they can buy a head unit to convert your car to Android Auto compatible vehicle. There is a bunch of head units available that support both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Kenwood Excelon DDX9905SThose who want to get the latest head unit that supports Wireless Connectivity to Head unit can choose either JVC KW-V940BW or Kenwood Excelon DDX9905S.

Does Android Auto work with Tesla?

Unfortunately, Neither Android Auto nor Apple CarPlay does works with Tesla models. Due to some notable issues that stop any near future integration between these two tech marvels.

What if my Android Auto doesn’t Work?

It is possible that the application doesn’t work as it should be, and you may need to troubleshoot it. Though we can’t enlist all issues, some of them related to Cable Connection, Apps, or Compatibility issues. We have jotted down some common suggestions, that can make your job easier.

  • My Andriod Auto App is not working, what to do?

First and foremost, Check your phone, if it has any updates are pending (either phone software or application updates). If Yes, then first install all of those updates including apps that related to Android Auto. You can also check back after restarting the Android phone. Now turn on Android auto on your mobile phone and make connect the cable to the car dashboard to start Android Auto in the dashboard.

  • Is Android Auto not connecting?

Well, the car models have dedicated USB connectors for Car Auto. The other USBs are designed just to supply the power or charge the phones and gadgets, make sure you are connected to the right connector. Second, make sure your cables are good and working properly. Some cables may have only power lines to charge the phone, not transfer the data, make sure you have the right cable to connect to the car. If you are using Bluetooth, make sure you turned on Bluetooth on the phone and paired with a car.

  • My car display doesn’t show Android Auto, why so?

If Andriod Auto app is working smoothly on your mobile device and everything up to date there (read above point), still car display doesn’t show Android app then you can check with below steps.

Check If Your car is compatible- other than the mobile device, your car also compatible with Android Auto or must have aftermarket unit installed. A common misconception is that the car is having a USB port and infotainment system. Still Android Auto should work. See the list of Android Auto compatible car brands and models and look if your car model does support the app. make sure your USB cable support data transfer and not broken.

  • I have checked both (phone and car models), it says compatible, but still, I am facing the issue, what to do next?

This means your mobile device and car connection isn’t good, which is causing the problem. So what you can do is to check whether your USB is in working condition, as this can be one of the reasons for failed connectivity. Read more about troubleshooting steps from Android Auto.

  • I still feel I need more help, where should I ask for it?

Well, Google has a strong product forum support of all of its product. Whether its Gmail, or Youtube or any different. Similarly, Google has a dedicated forum for Android Auto too where you can ask your doubts and get help from the community.

I hope this ultimate guide for Android Auto certainly helped you to clear most of the doubts on this application. If you still have some question, you can write them in comments.

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