Android Auto, how it works

When you get in the car, you have the reflex to switch on the integrated GPS in order to find the most suitable (or fastest) route as quickly as possible. But as with many people, this GPS is not the same as that of your mobile phone and you therefore use the one that is installed by default. What if it was possible to directly transfer your smartphone display to your car screen? This is what Android Auto offers, only better! 

What is Android Auto

For simplicity, Android Auto is the transposition of the screen of your smartphone on the on-board screen of your vehicle (usually the GPS). The system offers since its release in 2014 to interact natively with GPS, media player, telephone (calls and SMS) and Internet search. But many other features can be added. 
Thanks to Google's voice assistant, all applications are controlled directly by voice. So all you have to do is announce your destination and the route will be displayed instantly. You can ask your favorite music application to play the last playlist you have composed so that it sounds almost instantly in your car's speakers. Likewise if you have to send an SMS or make an urgent call, you just need to launch the command to be directly connected to your contact. By associating the responsiveness of the voice with the practicality of the car screen, Android Auto makes the car easier to live with
And as many other features can be added, it now becomes really simple to stream the music station of your choice, listen to the radio program you missed in the morning or communicate with loved ones, all without leaving the eye route. 

How useful is Android Auto

Thanks to an overhaul of the organization and graphics, reading information is greatly simplified, and allows you to be able to use all the useful applications and functionalities of your phone without having to stop (it is worth remembering that use of the smartphone while driving is still prohibited to this day). The usefulness of the smartphone / car screen association is therefore to be able to use the possibilities of your phone in the best conditions without the inconvenience associated with driving. Android Auto is designed in such a way that its use disturbs the driver as much as possible and focuses its gaze for a minimum time on the information that is most useful. So his attention is not monopolized and he remains vigilant and focused on what is most important: the road. 

To configure Android auto on your car, see our guide: Configure Android Auto.

What cars and phones are compatible?

Android Auto

Android Auto is compatible and works with more than 400 models of cars or car radios. The list below shows the brands that offer Android Auto as standard on their most recent models (i.e. since 2017). Alfa Romeo, Audi, Citroën, Fiat, Ford, Honda, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Nissan, Opel, Peugeot, Renault.
In addition, some brands of car radios have already integrated Android Auto, and the system will be able to work, whatever your car, even if it is much older. The brands Aamp, Adayo, Alpine, Blaupunkt, Caska, CVTE, Evus, JBL, JVC, Kenwood, Macrom, Pioneer or even Sony already offer compatible hardware.
As for the telephone, everything is much simpler. You just need your laptop to run Android 5.0 (Lollipop) or a more recent version for it to be automatically compatible. Android still recommends having at least version 6 of its operating system to make the most of this application. To find out how to connect your Android smartphone to your car, see our article: How to connect Android Auto wired or wireless.

How to use Android Auto with your smartphone

For to use Android Auto with your smartphone, it is very simple. First, go to Google Play and download the app (if not already done). Then, once installed in your car, start the Android Auto app. Some updates may be required. If so, launch them. The application will then ask you for permissions to access certain other applications or your data. In order to get the most out of Android Auto, it is strongly recommended that you accept all requests. Now connect your phone to your Android Auto device via USB cable. An Android Auto icon will then automatically appear on your car screen. Click on it to start the connection. Now, your phone is now working on your GPS screen, which has adapted to the display of Android.

If you want to use certain applications with Android Auto, here are our guides for Android Auto applications: