How to connect and use Android Auto?

Connect Android Auto wirelessly or via USB cable to your car's infotainment system. Access navigation, calls, music, and more hands-free for safer driving.

By Abhishek Chandel
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Android Auto

Android Auto (Image via Evans Hashlaw)

Whether you need directions, want to make a call hands-free, or listen to music on the road, Android Auto simplifies and organizes many of your mobile activities directly onto your car's display.

This guide will cover both wireless and wired connection methods to Android Auto. It'll also provide an overview of the key interface features and capabilities so you understand how to use it once setup is complete.


Before beginning the setup process, it's important to verify that your phone and car meet the requirements for Android Auto compatibility.

  1. First, check that your Android device is running version 6.0 nicknamed Marshmallow or newer. The majority of smartphones from the past couple of years should fulfil this.

  2. You'll also want to confirm your vehicle contains a head unit display that supports integrating with Android Auto. Many newer car models in recent years offer this built-in functionality, allowing for wireless or USB cable linkage.

  3. Finally, on some outdated Android versions, you may need to manually acquire the Android Auto application from the Google Play Store initially. However, phones equipped with the latest Android 10 installation or higher will likely have it pre-downloaded right out of the box

Steps for Connecting Android Auto Wirelessly

1. Turn on your car's infotainment display and ensure the Bluetooth setting is enabled.

2. Access the Settings menu on your Android smartphone.

3. Select the 'Connected devices' option within Settings.

4. Choose the 'Android Auto' selection from the menu.

5. Hit the button labelled 'Connect a car'.

6. Then pick 'Connect using wireless Android Auto'.

7. Your phone will ask you to pair using Bluetooth, so tap that prompt. Your vehicle should be displayed in the list of detectable devices nearby.

8. Select your car from the list to initiate synchronization of the devices. Follow any on-screen instructions for entering codes to finalize pairing on both ends.

9. After a successful connection, the Android Auto interface will pop up on your car screen. From there you can smoothly access maps, music apps and more through your automobile!

Step to Connecting Android Auto via USB Cable

1. Find the USB port in your car, usually around the centre console or dashboard area marked with a USB symbol.

2. Take the USB cable and plug one end into your Android phone. And connect the other cable end to the matching USB port inside your vehicle.

3. Once the USB cable establishes a connection between your phone and car, your vehicle's infotainment screen should automatically detect the linked device and prompt you to initiate Android Auto setup. Follow the on-screen instructions to permit necessary authorizations and fully complete the installation.

4. With a basic USB linkage joining your smartphone and car, the Android Auto platform should promptly appear and launch on your car's built-in display screen.

Android Auto Interface and Features

1. Navigation via Google Maps - Intuitively obtain turn-by-turn navigation instructions, real-time traffic conditions, and voice-assisted routes by single tapping the maps symbol or employing voice commands to input a destination location.

2. Calls and Messages - Make and receive phone calls, access your contacts, and send/receive messages using only your voice so your hands stay safe on the wheel.

3. Music and Media - Control your music, podcasts, and favourite audio apps directly from your car screen. Easily switch sources and create playlists.

4. Voice Commands ("Hey Google") - One stand-out perk is integrating with Google Assistant. Say "Hey Google" to perform various hands-free tasks like sending messages, getting directions, controlling audio playback, and more.


Once you've got Android Auto configured in your car you'll really appreciate how seamless it makes so many tasks while driving. Being able to access maps, messages and music without fiddling with your phone is a huge help in staying focused on the road. Whether you connect wirelessly or with a USB cable, the process is pretty simple for most newer cars and smartphones.

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