Three Things You Need to Know About the Newest Android Auto Wireless Adapter

Motorola's Android Auto adapter 7 photos
Photo: Motorola
Motorola Wireless Car Adapter for Android AutoMotorola Wireless Car Adapter for Android AutoMotorola Wireless Car Adapter for Android AutoMotorola Wireless Car Adapter for Android AutoMotorola Wireless Car Adapter for Android AutoMotorola Wireless Car Adapter for Android Auto
You wouldn’t necessarily expect a device aimed at a niche market to be so successful, but the Motorola MA1 is already quite a hit.
Announced earlier this month at CES, this little device is essentially a wireless Android Auto adapter similar to the more-famous AAWireless.

In other words, it converts wired Android Auto to wireless, therefore making it possible to use the application without the need for a cord.

This is without a doubt a lot more convenient for someone who stops regularly, such as a pizza delivery person, though at the same time, it’s also something that most drivers prefer anyway simply because it helps get rid of cables.

Motorola’s MA1, therefore, sells out incredibly fast both at Amazon and Target, and while the parent company is working around the clock on making more units available, the waiting times have already increased to March or even April.

Since you’re here, you’re probably thinking of buying an MA1 as well. And if you’re still not sure this is the device you need, here are three things that Motorola doesn’t say in the official documentation, and which are essential to every buyer.

Motorola Wireless Car Adapter for Android Auto
Photo: Motorola

It requires at least Android 11

While the other wireless Android Auto adapters also work on older versions of Google’s mobile operating system, Motorola claims its device needs at least Android 11.

Without a doubt, this kind of limits the audience the MA1 is aimed at, but on the other hand, this is one way to make sure everything is working properly.

Android 11 comes with significant wireless Android Auto improvements, as it drops the requirement of a Samsung or Google Pixel phone. The app now works without a cord with most new phones out there, as long as 5 GHz Wi-Fi support is available.

However, I’ve seen people who managed to get the MA1 up and running on older versions of Android, but of course, don’t be too surprised if you come across various connection problems in this case.

Motorola Wireless Car Adapter for Android Auto
Photo: Motorola

There’s a side button, and here’s what it does

Motorola doesn’t mention the side button that’s built into the MA1, so many people are obviously wondering what’s it for.

The side button does a very simple thing: it allows the device to enter the pairing mode, so in theory, it should be used only once when setting up the connection for the first time in the car.

At the same time, this side button lets you fully reset the adapter, just in case something goes wrong.

If you’re thinking of pairing multiple phones and toggling between them with the side button, nope, that’s not its purpose (there are other adapters on the market that do this anyway).

Motorola Wireless Car Adapter for Android Auto
Photo: Motorola

No software updates?

File this in the unconfirmed section, but it looks like the MA1 comes without the support for new software updates. In other words, the device may not get new firmware updates, and in the long term, this could be quite an issue.

Motorola launched its wireless Android Auto without a companion app on the mobile device, so in theory, the typical way of installing firmware updates isn’t supported.

On the other hand, we can’t tell for sure if Motorola has other plans in mind regarding new firmware versions. There’s a chance the company is already working on a mobile companion app, but at the same time, Motorola could very well allow for firmware updates to be installed using a connection to a PC via the USB port and a dedicated Win32 application.

For now, however, there’s no way to update the MA1 adapter, so it’ll certainly be interesting to see how Motorola ends up dealing with the bugs that users will undoubtedly come across in the coming weeks and months.

We have reached out to Motorola for additional information on this front and will update the article if and when we get an answer.
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About the author: Bogdan Popa
Bogdan Popa profile photo

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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