Android 11 Finally Allows Android Auto to Play Catch-up with CarPlay

Android 11 is the next big update coming to Android devices 1 photo
Photo: Google
CarPlay has long been considered the more refined alternative to Android Auto, pretty much because Apple’s platform is said to offer better stability and usability than its Google sibling.
While this is something totally debatable, especially as far as CarPlay users occasionally coming across bugs are concerned, Apple’s in-car experience has indeed been more polished simply because the likelihood of issues has been substantially reduced due to the company’s walled garden.

For example, low-quality cables are one of the main causes of problems on Android Auto, as these can lead to apps crashing all of a sudden, phones not being recognized by the head unit, or random disconnects when navigating.

In the CarPlay world, problems caused by bad cables are less widespread, mostly because Apple insists for everybody to use certified cords, and low-quality ones aren’t even allowed for charging and data transfers.

If you’re not planning to use a USB cable and want to stick with a wireless connection if your head unit supports it, your options in the Android Auto world are very limited too. For example, right now, wireless Android Auto is only available with a Google or Samsung smartphone running Android 10 or a Samsung Galaxy S8 or Note8 running Android 9.

If you want to run wireless CarPlay in your car, any iPhone can do it. Simple as that.

This is why Google is now working on resolving the whole thing, finally allowing Android Auto to bring the CarPlay-inspired convenience to its users too. With Android 11, Android Auto would be able to run wirelessly on any device as long as 5GHz Wi-Fi is supported.

So just like CarPlay, you’ll be able to use any Android phone in your car for wireless Android Auto.

At the same time, Google is also working on further enhancing the Android Auto experience with new apps, including tools aimed at electric vehicles. Coincidentally or not, this is something that Apple also announced earlier this year too, with the update to go live on CarPlay with the release of iOS 14 this fall.

At the end of the day, both Android Auto and CarPlay are set to receive major updates, and the competition getting fiercer here can only be good news for everybody. And as Android Auto users learned the hard way, Google itself becoming more committed to this app is something that should have happened a long time ago.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
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Bogdan keeps an eye on how technology is taking over the car world. His long-term goals are buying an 18-wheeler because he needs more space for his kid’s toys, and convincing Google and Apple that Android Auto and CarPlay deserve at least as much attention as their phones.
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