What is Android Auto Wireless, and How to Use it?

Android Auto Wireless
Android Auto Wireless

This article describes what Android Auto Wireless is, what you need to use it, and how to set it up. Directions apply to Pixel phones with Android 8.0 or higher and Samsung phones with Android 9.0 or higher.

Android Auto is a version of Android designed to be utilized in your vehicle. It is optimized for GPS navigation, media playback, application support, and much more. When working Android Auto, you can connect your phone to stream media, call contacts, etc. There are two ways to do this. The simple one is to connect your phone via a USB cable to the port on your Android Auto head unit. But Android Auto also helps wireless connections from some phones. Here is how you can connect to Android Auto wirelessly.

Android Auto Wireless Adapter
Android Auto Wireless Adapter

How to Use Android Auto Wireless 

If both your phone and your car are able of using Android Auto Wireless, here’s how to set it up:

  1. Connect your mobile phone to your car radio with a USB cable.
  2. Follow the on-screen prompts to complete the initial setup method.
  3. Disconnect the USB cable.
  4. The next time you get in your car, Android Auto Wireless automatically connects your mobile phone to your car radio.

What Is Android Auto Wireless?

Android Auto is an app that makes your phone more effortless and safer to use when you’re driving and supports several apps that make your driving experience better and more accessible. It also lets you connect your mobile phone to compatible touchscreen car radios.

This is actually accomplished by connecting your phone to your car with a USB cable, but Android Auto Wireless allows you to keep that connection after removing the USB cable.

The main advantage of Android Auto Wireless is that you don’t need to plug and unplug your phone every single time you go anywhere. Instead, if you’re planning on a more extended trip or your phone needs a charge, you can plug it in. Otherwise, can automatically connect your phone to your car radio as soon as you get in your car (after the initial USB cable connection).

Wireless Android Auto Adapter
Wireless Android Auto Adapter

How Does Android Auto Wireless Work?

Most connections between mobile phones and car radios use Bluetooth. This is how most hands-free calling implementations run, and you can also stream music over Bluetooth. However, Bluetooth connections don’t have the bandwidth needed by Android Auto Wireless.

To obtain a wireless connection between your phone and your car, Android Auto Wireless taps into the Wi-Fi functionality of your phone and your car radio. That means it only goes with vehicles that have Wi-Fi functionality.

Compatibility is further limited to particular car radios and phones that are designed to work with the system.

When a compatible phone is paired to a compatible car radio, works precisely like the wired version, just without wires. Your phone does all the large lifting, the information is displayed on your touchscreen car radio, and things like driving directions and answers that you ask Google Assistant are all played through the car speakers.

What Do You Require to Use Android Auto Wirelessly?

If you want to use Android Auto wirelessly, you need two things: a compatible car radio with built-in Wi-Fi and a compatible Android phone. Unfortunately, most head units that work with Android Auto, and most phones capable of running Android Auto, can’t use the wireless functionality.

Here’s what you require to start using Android Auto Wireless:

  • A compatible head unit: Your car radio, or head unit, requires to be capable of running Android Auto. It also needs to have Wi-Fi, and it requires to be certified to use its Wi-Fi connection in this manner.
  • A compatible phone: Your Android phone requires to be running Android 8.0 Oreo or newer if it’s a Pixel phone. The Samsung Galaxy S8 series and Note 8 series, and more unique, all support Android Audio Wireless if they’re running Android 9.0 Pie or higher.

Can Other Mobile Phones and Head Units Use Android Auto Wirelessly?

While Android Auto is available in any car on your mobile phone, and it’s capable of integrating with a lot of aftermarket and original equipment car radios, the wireless compatibility is much more limited. If your phone, or your car radio, doesn’t help all you can do is wait for an update that may or may not come.

Advanced users can use Android Auto Wireless with almost any head unit capable of running Android Auto, but it takes a lot of extra work. Unfortunately, this is an unofficial method discovered by an Android enthusiast, so Google doesn’t support it.

To use this method, you need:

  • An Android TV stick
  • A USB cable
  • A head unit that can run Android Auto

The basic concept is that the Android TV stick acts as a Wi-Fi antenna for the car radio, which enables you to connect wirelessly with your phone. Of course, it’s a lot more complicated than that, and it needs a lot of tinkering that most users will be uncomfortable with. Still, it is an option for anyone who has the required experience and expertise.


Can I connect Android Auto without a USB data cable? 

You can get Android Auto Wireless to work with an incompatible headset using an Android TV stick and a USB cable. However, most Android devices have been updated to incorporate. You will need to connect Android Auto to your car stereo with a USB for the initial connection. After connecting with a USB, Android Auto will automatically and wirelessly connect your phone to your car stereo.

Which cars support Android Auto Wireless? 

Most cars built in 2020 and after support Android Auto Wireless, and according to Android, availability for compatible cars and stereos is rapidly increasing. Consult your automobile manufacturer to confirm compatibility.

Why am I having trouble connecting Android Auto to my car?

If you’re having issues connecting wirelessly, check to make sure your Android is updated and that Android Auto is on in your vehicle’s infotainment system. If you’re using a USB cable and have a compatible car, you probably need to use a new or higher-quality USB cable that’s under six feet long. Quality USB cables include the USB icon.