For those who want to experience the sweetness of Android Auto, the update to Android Lollipop is needed but even with the update not all Android smartphone models will work with the few aftermarket Android Auto infotainment systems available. There are compatibility issues with Android Auto on Sprint, Verizon and AT&T for certain models.
Google’s Android Auto website states most Android phones running Android 5.0 Lollipop can run Android Auto in a compatible car or aftermarket unit. Currently, according to Google Developers only 9.7% of Android owners are using Lollipop.
|Ice Cream Sandwich||15||5.3%|
However, there are “known compatibility issues” for these very popular Android smartphones:
- LG G3 Android Auto issues for Verizon Wireless customers. Google is working with LG on compatibility and will announce an update when the issue is resolved.
- Samsung Galaxy S5 Android Auto issues for Sprint and Verizon Wireless customers. Google is working with Samsung on compatibility and will announce an update when the issue is resolved.
- Samsung Galaxy S4 -Android Auto issues for AT&T customers. Google is working with Samsung on compatibility and will announce an update when the issue is resolved.
Most Samsung smartphones after the Samsung Galaxy S4 /Note 3 have been updated to Lollipop, check with your carrier for compatibility. Many LG 2-3 smartphones have been updated. The Moto X, E and Nexus 6 are Lollipopped while the Nexus 5 for T-Mobile has received the update.
Another problem could be that not all USB cables are compatible with Android Auto. In order for Android Auto to work the smartphone must be connected via the USB port and have Bluetooth connection.
Android Auto uses Bluetooth to send and receive phone calls. It uses notifications to show things like turn-by-turn navigation, calendar events, incoming calls and messages, and your music on your car’s screen. The driver can use Voice control for most features of Android Auto by holding the voice button or touch the microphone on the display.
Features of Android Auto include:
- Make/receive calls, dial a number, see missed calls, get voicemails and see call history.
- Send/receive reply to text messages.
- Set reminders based on time of location.
- Voice or type search for directions.
- Listen to music.
Currently, the only way for car owners to get Android Auto is to buy an aftermarket infotainment system by Pioneer that were launched in late March with the AVIC-8100NEX, AVIC-7100NEX, and AVH-4100NEX that also support Apple CarPlay. The Android smartphone connects via the USB cable that came with the phone or the Pioneer CD-MU200 connectivity cable. Pioneer does offer AppRadio Mode that is compatible with many older Android smartphones, as well as dual-Bluetooth units. The company also offers MirrorLink compatible systems.
Another problem noted a spokesman for Pioneer is that there are two USB connections on the back of the NEX unit, one is for a CarPlay compatible connection (USB 1) another is for an Android Auto (USB 2) connection.
Pioneer contacted their Google spokesman who said “We’re working to resolve known Android Auto compatibility issues.”
Hyundai recently Tweeted that Android Auto is coming soon.
— Hyundai USA (@Hyundai) April 9, 2015
However, Hyundai has also been promising a software update for the Hyundai Sonata since last summer. Recent reports suggest that both Android Auto and CarPlay have been waylaid by automakers.
Meanwhile, our readers continue to have Bluetooth issues with Apple’s iOS 8-8.3, while CarPlay has had a few updates. Since many more iPhone are running iOS 8+ there should be fewer compatibility problems. As of April 27 81% of Apple devices were using iOS 8.
We would like to know your experiences with Pioneer and Android Auto. Early adopters, please feel free to offer guidance in the comments below.
IHS Automotive forecasts for the three primary systems for 2015 and will be MirrorLink, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. By 2020, there are expected to be 31 million cars with Android Auto.