Your move, Apple. Android 11 to deliver wireless Android Auto


ANDROID USERS often get to be a bit superior about their hardware. Android phones were offering OLED screen technology for eight years before Apple jumped on the bandwagon. Likewise, you could wirelessly charge selected ‘droids in 2013, with Apple requiring another four years to bring that tech fully to market in 2017.

But when it comes to seamlessly connecting your phone with your car, Apple has done a pretty comprehensive number on Android. Since iOS9 was introduced in 2015, Apple has supported wireless CarPlay implementations. BMW was an early adopter, with Audi, Mercedes-Benz and Volkswagen following suit. Ford’s now offering it on the new SYNC4 architecture first seen in the Mustang Mach-E, Chrysler’s delivering it with Uconnect 5 and GM is rolling it out for 2021.

Read next: Android Auto vs Apple Car Play

Meanwhile, those who prefer their Android phones have pretty much been forced to plug a cable into their handsets in order to access Android Auto. Google put a toe in the water with wireless mode back in 2018, but it garnered little support from automakers, not helped by the fact that only Google Pixel and Nexus owners could use it. Samsung released an update last year that gave its flagship Galaxy devices the capability, but only Ford and BMW seem to have got behind the move to offer wireless Android Auto support.

Read next: Adding Android Auto to an old car

Android 11 could well change all that. Due for a full launch in October, the the list of phones that can use wireless Android Auto will swell enormously. Almost all handsets running Android 11 will get the capability to connect to compatible in-car entertainment systems without a cable. You’ll need a 5GHz WiFi link for the handshake to occur, which isn’t a problem with the sort of newer devices that will be able to run Android 11.

Perhaps somebody still needs to tell Porsche, Bentley, Ferrari and Tesla; companies which still don’t offer any sort of Android Auto compatibility with their cars.

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Brian Jones

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