Wondering why Android Auto doesn’t work with your car or phone? Read this tutorial to get to know the most possible reasons.
If you are reading this tutorial, you must have heard about one of the newest Google solutions for drivers known as Android Auto. The idea behind Android Auto is really simple.
The system lets you bring the power of your Android phone into your car’s built-in entertainment system or an aftermarket head unit by letting you use your phone’s navigation, music or messaging app on the screen of your car.
All you need to do is plug in your phone (with Android Auto installed) into your car (with a standard USB cable). Once you connect your phone with your car, they sort of become one Android-powered device offering a whole spectrum of features and options for drivers.
Android Auto, however, is a very new solution which still isn’t available in many countries or is incompatible with many cars.
Unfortunately (at least of now) I won’t write a working tutorial of Android Auto because it doesn’t work in my country and with my car even though my Honda’s head unit is Android-powered.
However, that doesn’t mean I won’t be looking for a solution or a work-around. Let’s begin!
When I first learned about Android Auto, I thought that this is simply one of Google apps (like Gmail or Google Maps) which will work on almost any Android device.
However, it turned out that Android Auto is only supported in these thirty countries (the up-do-date list is on the website of Android Auto):
My country (Poland) unfortunately isn’t listed here (yet).
If you want to download Android Auto from Google Play and you aren’t physically located in one of the above thirty countries, the chances are you won’t even find Android Auto in the store.
This is exactly what happened in my case. I couldn’t find Android Auto in Google Play when doing searches with my phone or desktop computer, so I found the app Android Auto on APKMirror and downloaded it from there.
After the first unsuccessful attempts to connect my car with my phone, it dawned on me why I couldn’t find Android Auto in Google Play. It didn’t show up because it’s not supported in my country.
If you meet the above location criteria (i.e. you are physically located in one of these countries), you can now check if your phone is compatible with Android Auto.
If it isn’t, you probably won’t find Android Auto in Google Play when searching for it from your phone (just like you couldn’t find it if you are in an “incompatible” country).
There is basically only one requirement for your Android phone to work with Android Auto: it has to run Android 5.0 (Lollipop) or higher.
Here is what you need to do to make sure your phone is compatible:
Go to Settings >About device > Software info and check what version you are running. Below you can see the screenshot from my Samsung Galaxy S7.
If your phone doesn’t run Android 5.0, you need to manually check if the update to Android “L” or “M” is available. In Samsung Galaxy S7, you need to go to Settings > About device > Download updates manually. Below is the screen informing that no new updates are available for this phone.
If you have reached so far (i.e. you are in one the countries where Android Auto is supported and your phone is compatible), I have bad news for you: car compatibility is probably the toughest point of all.
As Android Audio is a relatively new service (it was announced in 2014 and released in 2015), only the newest cars are compatible with it (mostly cars produced in 2016).
You can find the current list of compatible cars here.
Even though all of the most popular car makes are present on the list of compatible cars, these are mostly models from 2016 and 2017.
My Honda Civic (which I bought two months ago and got a big discount because it is from 2015) is unfortunately incompatible with Android Auto. The funniest thing is that identical Civic 2016 is listed as compatible.
I hope that there will soon be some update of the head unit of my Honda which will let me use Android Auto once Poland is also listed a country supporting Android Auto.
If you meet all of the above features, you are among the few who can use Android Auto. Congratulations!
If something is still not working, there is probably some technical issue which you should quickly trouble-shoot.
Below are some possible reasons why Android Auto does not work in your car: