Here’s how to add Android Auto to any car

Android Auto has become a standard part of brand new cars, but it’s something that older vehicles lack. Adding it up can be complicated and can cost hundreds of dollars. But, did you know that you can actually add an Android Auto unit to any car in seconds at an affordable cost? This way.

Aftermarket head units have been available for decades at this point, and support for both Android Auto and CarPlay has become commonplace for pretty much any option you buy today. In general, these head units can be fairly inexpensive, but they can also be very expensive, and may even require the help of expensive professionals to install them on some vehicles if you don’t have experience.

For quite some time, I’ve wanted to add Android Auto to my wife’s car, as her Hyundai Elantra hails from a strange time where touchscreens and Android Auto weren’t particularly common, but Bluetooth and AUX connections were standard. However, my last attempt at adding an aftermarket head unit didn’t go down well. it was when i Spent Some Time With Spotify Car Thing Earlier this year I thought about how cool it would be to have a similar device, but running Android Auto.

As it turns out, those tools exist! And they are actually very easy to use.

For the past several months, my wife has Using a 7-inch external Android Auto unit In his car which is mounted on the dashboard and supports the wireless version of Android Auto. It plugs into its AUX connection to route audio through the car, and draws power from a typical car power outlet.

It also took literally a few seconds to set up. The included windshield mount turned out to be perfect in my wife’s car, but you can also use it as a dash mount or get creative with some DIY placement and other mounting options. It’s effectively just a tiny tablet that runs Android Auto.

Of course, it’s not the best looking setup. “IYING” DEVICE I picked one of the only options available for him earlier this year, and it really doesn’t have the best design. It’s very simple, but it works. The two cables hanging down add up in a not-so-great look, but they’re no worse than the charging cable you use to keep the smartphone juiced up while running Google Maps on the dashboard mount.

How does it perform? Quite commendable, overall.

When she starts the car, the device turns on automatically. The stock software isn’t great at all. It sounds pretty generic and forgettable, but it has some useful features. You can mirror your phone screen or use this device as a traditional Bluetooth head unit to add support for wireless audio in a car that lacks the feature. The unit also supports adding a backup camera, but we opted not to try it, as it obviously complicates the setup/install process considerably.

The built-in 7-inch display is up to the challenge of being used in a car. I can’t describe it as super bright, but it’s bright enough that it can be used to read what’s being shown on a sunny day without much trouble. However, it’s only a 1024×600 panel, so it’s not particularly sharp by any means. One quirk I immediately notice was that the top of the panel cuts off parts of the UI, but it doesn’t really hinder usability at all.

Meanwhile, Android Auto, when used wirelessly with its Pixel 5, typically boots up within 40-60 seconds of starting the vehicle. It’s a little slower than the one I paired with a wireless Android Auto adapter in my Subaru Crosstrek, but not too shabby! The only catch is that you’ll need to manually press a button to turn on Android Auto on the screen, and that pop-up can sometimes time out.

Android Auto runs without any noticeable lag, and during my daily commute at work, she tells me it generally runs pretty reliably.

The main point of contention with this device has been making phone calls. It may just be his car in particular, but incoming phone calls ignore the AUX connection and try to run via bluetooth instead. As a result, she cannot hear the call, and either the output has to be switched to the phone’s speaker or earpiece or the call has to be restarted from her end. I couldn’t fully explain why this was happening, but from the reviews of this device, it seems that we are not alone in this experience. Unfortunately I haven’t found a really acceptable solution for this. The only thing that has worked so far is to use the built-in FM transmitter, which results in much worse audio quality than the AUX.

Is this a deal-breaker? For its limited use, not really. But it could be for you.

But with the roughly $250 we spent on this device, it has been a worthwhile investment. It’s a pleasure to view maps smoothly while not letting your phone heat up while driving full time, and it was certainly easier to set up than the more permanent option.

Also, months after buying this device, more options have emerged and prices have come down. IYING DEVICE WE BUY Now can be had for just over $200.

We haven’t tried any others yet, but now there are some ready to buy on Amazon. 9to5Mac Had a great experience with the Intellidash Pro on the CarPlay side of things, and is an Android Auto model Too. “Carpuride” has a big device It looks quite slick, and there are even options that cost approx. $100 or less, Personally, it’s a form factor that got me interested – would you buy it?

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