Android Auto: Explained
Nowadays, regardless of the make of vehicle, most new vehicles come with either Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. Today, we’re only going to focus on Android Auto. It’s an application installed on most new vehicles in the main dashboard, to be connected with the driver or passenger’s Android phone. This allows the driver to control his/her entertainment system through their phone, completely hands-free. Once you’ve connected your phone to the entertainment system, you’ll see a version of your phone’s home screen on your infotainment system. When your phone is connected, you’ll be able to make calls and texts through your vehicle’s speaker system and also use maps, play music and podcasts through your infotainment system.
How Does Android Auto Work?
To use Android Auto, you’ll need two things. First off, you need a vehicle that’s compatible with Android Auto, secondly, you need an Android phone with at least the Android 6 operating system. If your Android phone is on an operating system version older than version 10, you’ll need to download the Android Auto app to connect.
Once you have what’s required above, connecting is simple. When the car is turned on and in park, you connect the USB cable to your infotainment system and your phone. Once plugged in, open the Android Auto app and simply follow the steps on-screen to connect your phone to the infotainment system. Once you’ve done this initial setup, every time you plug your phone into the USB you should be automatically connected to Android Auto. In some vehicles, a USB connection is not required and instead, Android Auto can be activated via Bluetooth.
Despite knowing how dangerous distracted driving is, so many people are still on their cell phones on the road. In 2016, MADD conducted a study on distracted driving and found that 21% of fatal car accidents were caused by distracted driving. It is incredibly difficult to resist the “ping” notification you hear from your phone and automakers know that, hence why apps like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay were created in the first place. With these applications, you no longer have to worry about trying to dangerously check your phone on the road, you can simply check via your speaker/voice system.
Popular Android Auto Apps
There are a ton of compatible Android Auto apps you can download that will let you interact with the apps safely and hands-free. In our opinion, these are the eight most popular apps for Android Auto:
- Google Maps
- Facebook Messenger
Due to safety concerns, not all apps are going to be compatible with Android Auto. If you’re curious about what apps you can download for Android Auto, simply go to the app on your phone and go to the “Apps for Android” option. All the apps listed here will be downloadable and compatible with Android Auto.
Is Android Auto Worth the Hype?
Depending on what kind of driver you are, Android Auto may or may not be worth all of the hype. If you’re someone who is always on the road or making long trips, the convenience of having all of your apps displayed on your infotainment system will be great. You’ll be able to do all of your communications, GPS and entertainment completely hands-free keeping you and your passengers safe. Lastly, having access to all of these applications hands-free lessens the chances of you and other drivers of distracted driving.