We enjoy many conveniences today that involve no physical contact or wired connections, from placing our phones close to scanners or speaking our commands or simply charging our wireless devices. These conveniences are particularly useful in cars where drivers need to keep their eyes on the road and their hands on the wheel. Unfortunately, they still have to struggle with USB cables to use their phones with the Android Auto enabled car. Fortunately, Android 11 will finally eliminate this restriction, but with an important requirement.
Android Auto wireless connections have been around for almost two years, but unfortunately they are only compatible with a small number of Android phones. This includes, of course, Google’s own Pixel devices and some Samsung phones that are already running Android 10. These aren’t the only Android phones available on the market, of course, and fortunately, the situation will be a little better this year.
Google has just updated its support document for Android Auto wireless connection with a unique but critical addition. Now, it says that any smartphone running Android 11 will be able to use Android Auto wirelessly now. Or at least when Android 11 arrives on your device, regardless of the manufacturer, later this year or next year.
Although this is really good news, unfortunately it also does not open the floodgates of wireless. The document continues that the phone must be able to support 5 GHz Wi-Fi, which is fortunately the most high-end and some mid-range phones. This means that there may be additional requirements per region, such as the EU. It also doesn’t affect places where Android Auto Wireless is completely banned.
The addition of all Android 11 phones to the compatibility list could be a game changer for Android Auto, especially as it tries to expand its coverage to more cars. The latter, of course, will be the deciding factor on whether Android Auto will really be able to claim a lasting position in the automotive market.