Android Auto, the interface adapted to car displays, can be used in two ways: wired or wireless. The most widespread system is through the cable, since it works with any smartphone, while the wireless mode is only available on some Google Pixel, Nexus and Samsung devices with Android 9-10. That, however, is close to changing thanks to Android 11.
From what we can see on the Android Auto support website, and as Google has confirmed to Engadget, Android 11 will “universalize” it, as any mobile “with Android 11.0 and 5 GHz WiFi connectivity“You can use it. In other words, the new version of Android, which should start to arrive in a stable way over the next few months, will allow any mobile to use wireless Android Auto, regardless of manufacturer or model.
Support for all on Android 11
The basic requirements for using wireless Android Auto have not changed. It is still necessary to have a Car or Android Auto Wireless Compatible Receiver (these are all supported cars and stereos), an active data plan, and the latest version of Android Auto. If the smartphone has Android 9 or lower, it is necessary to download the app from Google Play, but in Android 10 it is already pre-installed in the operating system.
Today, using wireless Android Auto means, first, that it is available in our country (it arrived in Spain some time ago) and, second, having a compatible smartphone. That, currently, is summarized in a Samsung or Google smartphone with Android 10 or a Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8 + or Note 8 with Android 9.0. All other devices still require a USB cable.
With Android 11 this will change, or at least that shows the Google support website. Almost any Android 11 smartphone will be able to use wireless Android Auto, and we say “almost” because some Android 11 smartphones may not have 5 GHz Wi-Fi connectivity. However, 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi-only mobiles are less and less frequent, since the most normal thing is that it has WiFi 5 or WiFi 6.
Finally, it should be noted that European smartphones will have to comply with a series of additional regulatory requirements to be able to use 5 GHz WiFi connections in the car. Be that as it may, It will be time to wait for Android 11 to be launched in a stable way and start reaching all smartphones. Android 10 is a version that has expanded relatively quickly and updates to Android 11 are expected to be even faster, but only time will tell.