Android Auto will work on any car, even an older one. How To Connect Android Auto to your Car Stereo. All you need are the right accessories and a smartphone with Android 5.0 (Lollipop) or higher (Android 6.0 is better), with a decent-sized screen. Add some practical applications and phone settings, and you can make the Android Auto version of your smartphone as good as the board version.
Back in the day, to connect a phone to the stereo of your car, you would need a WiFi adapter, a cable with a power outlet or Bluetooth. You should browse your phone, select music or whatever and play it the same way you would hold the phone. With the arrival of Android Auto, all that changes. Now it’s easier than ever to use your phone to provide the tunes for your road trip or for the daily commute. Here is how to connect Android Auto to your car stereo.
Like Apple CarPlay, Android Auto has been designed to connect your phone to your car. Newer cars can connect directly to Android Auto, while older cars can be connected with a Bluetooth dongle if they do not have it built-in. Very new cars can have Android Auto compatible infotainment systems that can show Android Auto directly on the touch screen.
You will need:
- An Android phone or tablet with a recent version of the OS installed. The minimum is Android Lollipop.
- The Android Auto app.
- A Bluetooth-enabled car, Bluetooth dongle or USB cable.
- A phone holder of some kind to keep your phone accessible while driving.
- An hour of your time.
If you do not have a 3.5mm audio jack in your car, you will need an FM transmitter. They connect to the audio jack of your phone and convert the signal to FM. You can then tune your car radio to the channel to receive the signal. If you have a USB port in your car, you can use the micro USB to USB cable of your phone to connect the two.
My car has Bluetooth, so I used it to connect everything to build this tutorial. It does not have a main unit compatible with Android Auto, so the application remains on my phone. That is what I will describe here. If you need a dongle, simply adapt that part of the tutorial to fit.
CONNECT ANDROID AUTO TO YOUR CAR STEREO
First you need to pair your phone and your car. Usually, this involves turning on Bluetooth in both and setting them up to discover. In Android Oreo, all you need to do is go to Settings and activate Bluetooth. It will automatically discover any nearby device. If Bluetooth is also turned on in your car, the two should meet and pair. This may take a little time, so be patient.
I do this first since my car is a bit temperamental when it comes to connecting and pairing Bluetooth devices.
Now that it’s done, we have to download and install Android Auto.
- Open Android Auto on your phone.
- Select Settings and Autolaunch.
- Toggle the automatic start on.
- Select the Bluetooth of your car and connect the two devices.
Now Android Auto will start automatically if your phone’s Bluetooth is on and it detects your car. It will appear on your phone screen and allow you to select it to take care of your phone.
USING ANDROID AUTO
Android Auto changes your phone to the infotainment mode and allows you to play music, access Google Maps and a lot of other applications. The Android user interface is simplified and most applications of your phone will be sent to the background to minimize distractions and facilitate the use of Android Auto.
One of the good things that Android Auto brings is the ability to use voice commands. While you can not use them in phone mode, they really kick in when they’re in the car. You can select the microphone icon on your phone or simply say ‘Hello Google’. Then you can play music, call a contact, write a text message, use maps or use an application.
The Google Assistant is integrated into all aspects of Android Auto and can help you perform most of the functions. You can request nearby service stations and Maps will search for them. You can ask him to play music from your default player and he will do so. You can even link it to your smart home to light the oven while you are on your way home from work.
If you prefer to use your phone’s touch screen, you can do so. When you are on Android Auto, you will see a gray box with three icons on the right or at the bottom of the screen. The headset icon controls the music and activates your default music player. The phone icon allows you to make hands-free calls or answer them. The arrow icon accesses Google Maps for instructions.
When you finish driving, Android Auto should recognize that the Bluetooth connection has finished and will exit the application automatically. But if not, touch the circle icon, then press Exit to return to your normal phone interface. Finally, do not forget to take your phone with you!
If you add third-party Android Auto applications, they can be accessed using the white circle icon below the gray box. The features obviously differ between applications and now there are hundreds of them available with more in the way target = “_ new”.