If you are an Android phone user and a driver, you will want Android Auto. But what exactly does Android Auto do? At its core, it’s a way to connect your Android phone to an in-car display.
However, Android Auto doesn’t just act like a big phone that’s always on display, it’s also used for core communications, entertainment, navigation and voice tasks, so you can keep your hands on the wheel and your eyes on the road. can keep.
Of course, you’ll need a compatible vehicle with the necessary kit so you can plug in your Android phone via USB (some recent cars support Android Auto Wireless, so you can ditch the cable) to get everything up and running.
Here’s what Android Auto can do and its 5 key features:
1. Great navigation with live traffic
Google Maps is built into Android Auto for navigation, so you can easily set up a route to get you from A to B. As in Maps, it offers turn-by-turn navigation, including speech (you can mute it if you want) and, if your car has the support it needs, then additional data on secondary screens to help you with lane options, exit junctions and the like.
In addition, Google also monitors live traffic, using anonymous data from other drivers in real time. keep your driving time low.
Beyond the standard navigation on Android Auto, there are also wider options. For example, if you’re a Waze user, you can run that through the system instead for what many describe as an even more optimal experience.
2. Voice messages in apps
A big Google feature is the Google Assistant and the voice control. That’s baked into Android Auto too, should you choose to use it. It’s especially useful when driving, as phone laws are strict (you can’t even hold a device while driving a vehicle in the UK).
The great thing about speech and Android Auto is that everything is integrated. You can tell the system to message your brother in WhatsApp or Messenger and then dictate it. It’s also pretty accurate, which always helps.
Android Auto can even read out incoming messages, if you allow it, which can be useful if you receive a text while driving to an airport telling you that your flight has been canceled, or you’re just trying to keep up with the latest news. latest gossip in a WhatsApp group.
3. Music Control
Who doesn’t listen to music while driving? Android Auto is a great way to listen to your favorite songs – and through your favorite apps. There is a direct link with Spotify, for example, or maybe you want to listen to your favorite program via BBC Sounds.
Since speech is so integrated into Android Auto, you can make a request by saying aloud what you want to hear, from which app, and the system will find it and start playing it. If you don’t have easy-to-use controls on the steering wheel of your car, speech is a great way to skip, pause, and so on.
4. Simple organization
If you use the apps from Android and Google to plan your personal and work life, chances are you have a lot of meetings scheduled – and Android Auto is a great way to tap into all those appointments. The system can alert you via Calendar, you can tap appointments to start navigation, and use voice to notify contacts if you’re running late.
5. It’s all free!
Okay, there’s one caveat to that: you need to have a vehicle that offers Android Auto compatibility (and not all of them: Mini, for example, is only Apple CarPlay still) and the necessary built-in screen-based system (after-market products are also available as a temporary solution).
Assuming that box is checked, that is: just plug in your phone via the USB port (unless you support Android Auto Wireless, which is a newer feature) and grant access and you’re good to go – all those great features above are yours for the taking.