Apple CarPlay and Google’s Android Auto both seem pretty useful for drivers — simply plug in your phone to charge, and it’ll link up with your car’s bigger touchscreen to give you directions to your doctor’s appointment, play music from your Spotify playlist, or send a text. Google also has an easier version that lets you connect wirelessly to your car stereo without even taking your phone out of your pocket — but it was limited to Google and Samsung phones. Now, Google has quietly announced that any phone running Android 11 will be able to connect to Android Auto, cable-free.
Google’s updated Android Auto support page now notes that “any smartphone with Android 11.0” will be able to connect to Android Auto wirelessly. It’s likely in addition to Google and Samsung, phones from manufacturers like LG, Motorola, and OnePlus may also receive support when Android 11 exits public beta later this year.
But Android 11 support for Android Auto wireless comes with a few requirements: you need to have both a phone and Android Auto head unit that supports 5GHz Wi-Fi. If you live in Japan or Russia, you won’t have access as Google says those territories do not support Android Auto’s wireless feature. Even in the EU, there are additional requirements; Google says Android phones in the EU that use 5GHz Wi-Fi in the car must “comply with additional regulatory requirements,” but we’re not quite sure what that means for you.
If the idea of going cable-free sounds appealing, you might want to consider buying a wireless charger as well — after all, your phone isn’t going to be charging while it’s streaming Android Auto from your pocket.