Few technologies have revolutionized how we stay connected when behind the wheel as much as Android Auto has. Pennsylvania’s hands-free law prohibits drivers from having a phone in their hands while driving. Although Bluetooth hands-free works well, the phone functions that you can access safely and legally are limited. Having an Android Auto-enabled entertainment system in your vehicle allows you to access key features of your Android smartphone while keeping your eyes on the road. Let’s look at how this technology works and how you can add it to your car or truck.
What Is Android Auto?
Google Assistant is a smartphone feature that lets you perform essential phone functions using voice commands. Android Auto smartphone integration combines this voice recognition technology with the entertainment system in your vehicle. You can press a button on the radio or your steering wheel and ask your smartphone to make a call to any contact in your address book or a business anywhere in North America. For the latter, Google will search the internet for a match, ask you if the result is what you’re looking for, then make the call. You can send text messages just as easily, by dictating a phone number or selecting one of your contacts. Google will listen to your message, convert it to text and display it for your confirmation, then send it off without you having to touch the radio screen. When the recipient replies, the system can dictate their message to you. It’s simple, intuitive and impressively accurate.
Android Auto gives you access to a nearly unlimited range of entertainment options. If you have music stored on your phone, you can ask the system to play it back based on artist, song name or genre. Access to streaming services like Pandora, iHeartRadio, Tidal, Spotify and Disney Music is also quick and easy using voice commands. You can use apps like Pocket Casts, Podcast Addict or Stitcher to listen to podcasts. You can also control SiriusXM satellite radio if you’re a subscriber and have the app on your phone.
Real-Time Navigation Directions
One of the most significant benefits of Android Auto is the ability to get navigation directions to locations almost anywhere in North America. You don’t even need to know the address. You can ask Google for detailed turn-by-turn directions to any business or landmark you can think of, and it will search the internet for you. You have your choice of using Google Maps or Waze to create the route and provide instructions. The map data is downloaded in real-time as you drive, so updates are a thing of the past. Even better, both navigation apps take real-time traffic flow information into account to help you reach your destination as efficiently as possible by avoiding accidents and congestion.
How To Upgrade Your Vehicle with Android Auto
There are two options for adding Android Auto to your vehicle. The most popular route is to replace your existing radio with a new Sony or Pioneer multimedia receiver that includes this smartphone integration feature. Not only will you be able to use the voice-recognition features of your smartphone, but you’ll have a high-quality source unit that can play back all sorts of digital audio formats like MP3, WMA and FLAC. The system can be easily upgraded with SiriusXM satellite radio or a backup camera to make parking and maneuvering much safer. Many aftermarket source units include wireless Android Auto connectivity that uses Wi-Fi. With these systems, you can keep your phone in your pocket or purse – a big convenience if you’re in and out of your vehicle regularly.
If your vehicle came with a color infotainment system display in the dash, we might be able to install an Android Auto upgrade that works with the existing display and audio system. We would need to check on availability for the exact year, make, model and trim level of your car or truck to know what’s available. This is a popular solution if you have a late-model vehicle that can’t be upgraded with a new multimedia receiver.
Upgrade Your Car or Truck at Pennsylvania’s Car Audio Experts – Mobile Edge
If you’re interested in having Android Auto added to your vehicle, we invite you to drop by Mobile Edge in Lehighton and speak with one of our product specialists. Be sure to bring your Android phone with you so we can demonstrate how the radio and interface options function and help you choose a solution that works exactly the way you want. If you can’t get to our store during regular business hours, give us a call or click the red button below to send our team an e-mail.