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Android Auto finally supports wireless, as long as you've got the right phone

Android Auto
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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 (opens in new tab) 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 (opens in new tab).

Via The Verge (opens in new tab)

David Nield
David Nield

Dave is a freelance tech journalist who has been writing about gadgets, apps and the web for more than two decades. Based out of Stockport, England, on TechRadar you'll find him covering news, features and reviews, particularly for phones, tablets and wearables. Working to ensure our breaking news coverage is the best in the business over weekends, David also has bylines at Gizmodo, T3, PopSci and a few other places besides, as well as being many years editing the likes of PC Explorer and The Hardware Handbook.