Owners of Samsung’s Galaxy S8, S9, and S10 phones — Note versions included — will now be able to use Android Auto without plugging anything in. According to an updated Google support page first spotted by Android Police, wireless Android Auto support for newer Samsung phones has been added, broadening the pool of compatibility beyond Pixel and Nexus phones.
The catch, of course, is that wireless Android Auto is still only available on aftermarket head units, meaning Samsung smartphone owners who want to live a wire-free life will have to pony up a few hundred dollars and get one installed. (A wireless version of Apple’s own smartphone-powered in-car infotainment system, CarPlay, is available standard on a number of new Audi, BMW, and Mini vehicles.)
If and when Samsung smartphone owners get one of these head units, they’ll just need to make sure they have the phone running Android 9.0, as well as version 4.7 or higher of the Android Auto app, according to the Google support page. After that (and a quick setup process) they can run Android Auto over their vehicle’s Wi-Fi.
One issue some early wireless CarPlay and Android Auto users have reported is that projecting the smartphone’s operations over Wi-Fi tends to drain a smartphone’s battery rather quickly, meaning drivers may wind up having to plug in on longer drives anyway — unless, that is, their car also offers wireless charging.