In this digital world, we use our smartphones for absolutely everything. Whether it’s playing our favourite music or navigating to a new location, they’re always our first port of call. Due to this, there’s been an increasing demand to make vehicles more mobile friendly, which has seen the rise of systems such as Android AutoTM.

Drivers looking to purchase a new vehicle are increasingly seeing Android AutoTM as an essential feature, but there are still those out there who feel left in the dark about it and are wondering, what is Android AutoTM? In this guide we look at what it is, how to use it and the features which can make your life considerably easier.

What is Android Auto?

Android Auto TM essentially takes your mobile and puts it on your car’s dashboard. It features a super simple interface which is swipe-able and has large icons so you can easily identify what you need.

Google Maps Navigation System?

Android Auto™ also uses Google Maps for its navigation system. It’s widely known as one of the best map apps on the market, as it’s much quicker to update with new roads and features real-time traffic information, which is obtained from other users using Google Maps. And, due to the fact it’s one of the most widely used navigation systems, traffic alerts are almost always amazingly accurate.

Better than your average in-car system?

Another huge bonus is that your apps are frequently updated, which puts Android Auto TM miles above most in-car systems as some manufacturers can be slow to update. Plus, you can download and use Spotify® and other radio station apps – allowing you to listen to what you want, when you want.

Drive with your Google Assistant?

The Android AutoTM app is Google Assistant enabled, so all you need to do is say “ok google,” and you can ask it to do anything including play music, get directions, answer questions and even reply to texts, thanks to its ‘speech to text’ technology. If you don’t fancy chatting to your assistant, you can either use it with the buttons on your steering wheel, or simply use the touchscreen.

Much safer than your mobile phone

Another key feature to Android AutoTM is that it’s much safer than using a mobile phone in a cradle or taking up your field of vision on the dash. Once plugged in, your mobile device will auto lock, so you won’t be tempted to use your phone whilst driving. Additionally, it won’t let you play around on it for too long, as if you spend too much time swiping, a message will pop up alerting you to pull over to continue. All these features help to minimise distractions, allowing you to focus on getting everyone where you need to be, safe and sound.

How does Android Auto work?

You can only use Android AutoTM if you have an Android device running on version 5.0 (Lollipop) or higher. You’ll also need to install the Android AutoTM app (which is completely free) and connect to your car with a USB cable. Certain mobiles are now giving you the option to connect to Android AutoTM wirelessly, but at the moment this is restricted to Pixels and Nexus 6P devices running on Android 8.0 or higher.

How do you connect your device to the car?

Once you’ve installed the Android AutoTM app, you’ll need to connect it to your car. It’s important to note that setting up and connecting it will only work whilst you’re stationary, for safety reasons.

Make sure your phone is connected to the internet, then pull up the app on your phone. With it open, plug your phone into your car via the USB cable and load the Android AutoTM app on your car. Once you’ve done this, it’ll ask you to connect a new device, then all you’ll need to do is select your smartphone and approve it on your device. You’ll only need to do it once, in future it’ll automatically connect.