How to Use Android Auto: Google’s In-Car Interface
Okay, so this is not a secret:
Using your smartphone while driving a car can often be very dangerous. In many countries, it’s even forbidden to text and drive.
The downside of this is…
It might prevent you from using any other, non-dangerous features that your Android device can offer. Whether it’s Google Maps, Waze, or an audio player, it might come in handy, especially for a long drive.
But hold up because we have some great news for you!
Android Auto – What is it and how it works?
So, you might be asking…
What is Android Auto and how to use it?
Android Auto is a free application that you can easily download from the Google Play store.
Basically, this app lets you connect your smartphone to a car’s dashboard. Therefore, your hands can remain on a steering wheel, making it easier and safer for you to drive.
When it was developed back in 2015, only a limited amount of features could be used. However, with many recent updates, Android Auto is becoming more and more popular among drivers. Yay!
There are 2 different ways that you can use Android Auto:
- by connecting it to a car’s dashboard,
- or by using it directly on your phone.
The second method is usually used if your car doesn’t support Android Auto. So without further ado, let’s check it out!
Method 1: How to Use Android Auto App on Your Device
Android Auto app works in a very simple way. You download the app from Play Store, install it and then connect your smartphone with the car using either USB, AUX, or Bluetooth. When connected, you will be able to use features of Android Auto on your car’s dashboard.
However, if your car doesn’t support this feature, you can use Android Auto on your phone. Anyway, you should still connect it to your car’s audio system. It will make the process of “automation” much easier, and we’ll talk about that in the next section.
Step 1: Download and Install
First, download and install Android Auto. You can easily download this app from the Google Play store.
Step 2: Connect To Car’s Audio System
Once you’ve installed the app. Launch the Android Auto app on your device and connect it to your car’s audio system either with Bluetooth, USB or AUX.
Step 3: Start Android Auto
Once connected, start Android Auto and tap “Get Started” then tap “Accept” on the safety information screen.
Step 4: Allow Permissions
Tap “Continue” and allow the app’s requested permissions.
And that’s it!
If you intend to use Android Auto on a daily basis, we’ll show you a few steps on how to automate the process. Basically, you would want to make the app start automatically, as soon as you enter the car. Note that you will need Bluetooth connection for that.
Step 1: Open App Menu
Once you start the app, tap the Menu button on the top-left corner.
Step 2: Enable Autolaunch
On the Menu interface, proceed to the app settings and scroll down. Find “Autolaunch” and toggle it to ON. Then, turn on the “Pocket Detection” option.
The “Pocket Detection” actually prevents the app from starting while the phone is in your pocket.
Method 2: How to Use Android Auto App on a Car Dashboard
If your car supports Android Auto, you can use the app on your car’s dashboard. It’s even simpler and safer than using it on your mobile device.
But before anything else, make sure you’ve done all the steps found in Method 1 and be sure that the car is running.
Step 1: Allow Permissions
If this is the first time you are using Android Auto, the permission screen will appear on the car’s dashboard. Tap “Enable Once” or “Always Enable”. Then, a question box will appear and you should tap on “Don’t ask anymore”. Otherwise, it will ask you if you want to use Android Auto with this device every time you start the car.
Step 2: Secure Connection
The Android Auto-icon should appear. Tap the icon to launch the app, and that’s it!
As you can see, it’s very easy to set up and launch Android Auto on a car that supports this feature.
Android Auto Alternatives
If for whatever reasons you ended up disliking the Android Auto app, you can try one of the alternatives below. We have sorted out the best alternatives for you.
1. AutoMate Car
The app interface is very similar to Android Auto, however, it offers many more features and customizations. The best part is, it allows you to select a favorite app for each function, like music, navigation, etc. Voice control is also supported which is cool.
2. Drivemode: Safe Driving
This app’s interface is based on simplicity. Although it doesn’t offer many features, voice control is supported. You can also play music while using navigation, thanks to the transparent music player. Definitely worth a try if you want a simple, easy-to-use interface.
This is definitely the best alternative to Android Auto. Besides being very simple, it offers many features and is very customizable. You can even enter the information about your car, such as fuel, type of vehicle, etc., so it won’t bring you where you are not allowed. It might be helpful to avoid any possible fines. It can also integrate this app with Spotify, so you can listen to music without exiting the app.
4. Car Dashdroid
The interesting thing about this app is that the interface is made out of blocks, so you can customize it as much as you want. Besides that, you can enable notifications to be read out loud, instead of having to read them. This can help you to keep eyes on the road. The app also includes WhatsApp and Facebook, so you don’t have to exit in order to use these features.
What if my car doesn’t support Android Auto?
Then you can use it on your mobile device. Another great tip is to buy a smartphone holder and fix it somewhere near the car’s dashboard.
Will Android Auto work on a tablet?
Currently, tablets are not supported. Maybe with some new update, there will be tablet support, but there isn’t any news about that, yet.
Which phones are compatible with Android Auto?
Any Android phone with system version 5.0 and up, however, 6.0 is recommended for the best performance.
Related Article: Android Auto – The Things You Must Know and Understand.
If your car doesn’t support Android Auto and you want to use it, you can upgrade your card with the latest multimedia dashboard system that supports Android Auto. If that picks your interest, we highly recommend Pioneer AVH-2300NEX.
The Pioneer AVH-2300NEX is a multimedia receiver with 7″ WVGA display and Bluetooth support. The AVH-2300NEX also features Android Auto which extends the Android platform into the car in a way that’s purpose-built for driving and automatically brings you useful information and organizes it into simple cards that appear just when they’re needed. It’s designed to minimize distractions so you can stay focused on the road ahead.
Ultimately, Method 1 is mandatory if you want to use Android Auto. If your car doesn’t support this app, then we recommend upgrading your car’s dashboard with a multimedia system that supports Android Auto.
In any case, be sure to check the Automation Process if you intend to use it daily to save you a lot of time.
If Android Auto will not work for you for whatever reason, then better try the ones that we recommended as an alternative. Out of all the apps that we recommended as an alternative to Android Auto, our favorite is Waze.
Be sure to check out our Complete List of Android Auto Compatible Cars in 2019
Have you managed to set up Android Auto? Did you have any problems? Please let us know in the comments below…
It’s frustrating that Toyota has refused to support Android Auto while almost every other automaker has it. They are now slowly introducing to a few new models. Toyota says they are working it, waiting to make it a seamless integration into their Entunes system.
Hi David, thanks for sharing your thoughts. Toyota simply wanted to maintain their credibility as a company and they do have legitimate safety and privacy concerns as reasons not to offer Android Auto. However, they did release an official announcement that a handful of cars in their lineup will gain Android Auto compatibility for the 2020 model year.
The list of Toyota cars are as follows:
Yaris (Europe Only) 2019-
Will you be buying one of these models when they release it in 2020?