Android 11 phones will summon Android Auto wirelessly, no need to pull out your device

Photo by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

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.


Is there a general guideline for how long cars stay up to date the the latest versions of Android Auto?
Is it 2 years? 5 years? Or are you stuck with the version that shipped with your car?

The entire point of Android Auto / CarPlay is that the software is on your phone, not in your car. It’s as up to date as your phone is.


all Android Auto and Carplay is, is phone projection. It just takes whatever image it sees that the phone is sending. How it looks and all that is dependent on the version of Android Auto or Carplay you have. As long as the car itself can support the projection, then you wont have to worry about updating anything in the car itself. Its kinda like hooking up your laptop to a TV and extending the desktop. Auto and Carplay are just extended desktops where your car screen will only show the extended part.

I can’t speak for AA, but car play works as a second screen not projection. Take a screen shot when connected and you get 2 screens. Also there are updates to head units that can improve the experience. My Subaru just got an update that allowed full screen car play on its 11" s Ren, pervious it was about 1/2 of the screen and was not an ideal experience.

Projection or second screen is irrelevant to the question, in either case the software relies on the phone, not the car.

Yes second screen isn’t relevant to the actual question as that was just supporting information. What was relevant was when i said "As long as the car itself can support the projection, then you wont have to worry about updating anything in the car itself"

Yep, wasn’t responding to you

oh I really meant it as a 2nd screen, not exactly projection but I couldnt come up with a better word at the time. Also yeah your head units in the car can get updates depending on the manufacturer but that doesnt necessarily change what AA or CP actually show

Little more complex than just a second screen.
AA also has to interface with cars touchscreen, audio system, and steering wheel controls as well.

I don’t have wireless AA. Can someone who is using it comment on how well it works? Is the connection stable? Lag? Does your phone connect reliably?

Depends a lot on the car, some have a great experience, and for some it’s unusable. Same with Carplay…

How is the 300 mbps of 802.11n not good enough for AA? I just want it on my Sync 3 console.

I’ve noticed Android Auto has gotten a lot more reliable over the past year or so. Could be that I swapped my old Google Fi Nexus phone for the Google Fi Moto G7. Connecting to Android Auto wirelessly would really enhance convenience and safety.

Hopefully wireless comes to all CarPlay cars soon. I think BMW is one of the few that has wireless Carplay right now.

Requires hardware to work, so if they don’t support it now, a software update won’t fix that.

I think he means that all models that support Carplay right now get upgraded to support wireless mode in a new model year, as in the hardware is physically included in a future model. That does bring up an interesting question though about retrofitting wireless support into an older model year if the newer model year that adds wireless support is in the same generation.

The problem is that 99% of the current iteration of the consoles themselves will not support wireless.

Is there some sort of USB plug in device that could be used to trick the car?

What we need is a wireless adapter that could be plugged into a non-wireless-compatible car’s USB port to give it wireless capability. I would jump on that in a heartbeat.

Maybe they could put it in the wireless charger you’ll also need for wireless android auto to be actually useful. The past few weeks my note 8’s battery has been going to shit, so I plug it into my aa head unit to charge. Running waze and pandora at the same time still used the battery faster than it could charge. So running aa wirelessly will kill it even faster without some kind of charging.

That’s already a thing but it’s very specific depending on your car and head unit, there’s no universal one size fits all adapter that works on all units. Here’s an example for Carplay:


Android 11 will be out of date by the time I replace my car that currently doesn’t support android or IOS. That said, maybe a storm will go through that will total the car, and accelerate the process. I used to live in the Cedar Rapids area.

You can get 3rd party head units that support wireless android auto and carplay.

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