What is Android Auto? Simply explained

by Johannes

For a while, many car manufacturers were touting their cars with the “Android Auto” feature. We explain what it actually is, how Google’s technology worked.

Android Auto: Google system on the road

As of June 2022, Android Auto is no longer available as an app. The function can now only be used via the displays of already connected cars.

  • With Android Auto, you could use the most important functions from your Android smartphone on the screen of your car even while driving. To do this, you needed an Android smartphone with Android version 5.0 or higher.
  • The Android smartphone was connected to the car via Bluetooth or cable. The mobile phone screen switched off and a simplified user interface appeared on the car radio display. This meant that it was no longer necessary to reach for the mobile phone while driving.
  • VW, Audi, Ford, Opel, Chevrolet, Kia and Renault also equipped their cars with Android Auto from 2015.

Functions of Android Auto: Assistant Driving Mode as an alternative

  • Android Auto mainly played on the smartphone. The display of the car radio was only used as a monitor. If the car radio had a touch display and its own GPS function, this was also used. However, Android Auto could also be used with cheaper car radios without touch displays.
  • Among other things, you could use the apps Google Maps, Spotify, Skype, Threema, as well as Google’s voice assistance Google Now with Android Auto. The operation on the car display was greatly simplified and limited while driving. Many functions, especially the more complex ones, were only possible when the car was stationary. Thus, Android Auto ensured sufficient safety.
  • The numerous functions of Android Auto are not entirely lost, however. Google offers a dedicated driving mode within Google Maps as an alternative to Android Auto. With this so-called “Google Assistant Driving Mode”, similar functions are offered as previously with Android Auto.

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