We knew it was coming, and now it’s here, for a selected number of handsets at least: Android Auto is going wireless, provided you have a compatible head unit installed in your car and a phone with the Pixel or Nexus name attached.
Up until now you’ve had to plug your Android phone into the head unit with a cable in order to enjoy everything that Android Auto has to offer – quite a major restriction in this age of wireless connectivity.
If you’ve got a Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Nexus 5X or Nexus 6P phone, everything should happen wireless and automatically once you power up your car, as per a message from Google. You can even leave your phone in your pocket or your bag.
One step at a time
Headsets that support this kind of functionality are already available from the likes of Kenwood and JVC, with more to follow. It won’t work with every Android Auto car unit – and Google says the feature has only been enabled in North America so far.
Even with those caveats, and limited device support, it’s encouraging to see Android Auto finally go wireless. It’s a pity that none of the Pixel or Nexus phones support wireless charging, as then you really good set your phone up on a mount and forget about it, but one step at a time…
With the Google I/O developer conference scheduled for May, we may well hear more about Google’s plans for its in-car entertainment solution. If you don’t have a compatible head unit in your car, you can run Android Auto on your phone as an app.