Wireless Android Auto is incredibly convenient, but it’s still relatively rare to find the feature built into your vehicle. However, a simple wireless Android Auto adapter makes it incredibly easy to add the functionality — what do you still want to know about them?
What is a wireless Android Auto adapter?
Android Auto is typically used in a wired form, with a cable connecting your car to your phone. That connection slowly charges your phone while transmitting data over to the car to project Android Auto on the infotainment display. Wired Android Auto has become commonplace in virtually every new vehicle, but its wireless counterpart very much has not.
As such, a trend has emerged to offer adapters that can take over a car’s USB port and connect to your phone wirelessly. This was originally done through unofficial means, but Google has actually officially licensed at least one product to support the functionality.
Motorola MA1, AAWireless, Carsifi — What’s the difference?
There are currently three adapters that can add wireless Android Auto to your car. The first one that was released was AAWireless, which is developed by a small team and was brought to the market on the back of crowdfunding. The simple adapter has a detachable cable that connects to your car and projects wireless Android Auto to your car. It has a companion app that can deliver firmware updates, assist with pairing, and make more advanced tweaks to the experience if you opt to do so. AAWireless is the jack-of-all-trades in this comparison, offering a simple setup with more under the hood.
AAWireless costs $85 and is still shipping through Indiegogo, usually with a one-month wait depending on region.
The Motorola MA1, meanwhile, is the only product officially licensed to deliver wireless Android Auto to vehicles. It has a built-in USB-A connection and works without any apps. Just pair over Bluetooth and the rest is handled as if you were wired to the car. The focus of the product is simplicity, a goal it certainly reaches.
MA1 has been incredibly popular among customers, and that’s led to the $90 wireless Android Auto dongle being completely out of stock at Amazon and for weeks. You can try your luck with alerts, but this is a hard device to get your hands on.
There’s also another wireless Android Auto adapter that was born out of crowdfunding, Carsifi. This dongle is similar to AAWireless in that it has a companion app for advanced functions and updates, but has one stand-out feature in a quick switch button that allows you to easily switch the phone that the dongle connects to.
We’ve been using Carsifi for a little bit at this point, with a review forthcoming, but the $90 dongle seems like a solid option so far. It can be purchased through Indiegogo, typically shipping within a month.
Wireless Android Auto adapter FAQs
One of the biggest questions we often see about wireless Android Auto adapters is if they will add Android Auto to a vehicle that didn’t already have it.
Sadly, the answer to that is no. Your car must have the wired version of Android Auto, whether officially through the built-in infotainment system or through a head unit, to enable the connection wirelessly. These adapters only ditch the cable requirement.
What else do you want to know about wireless Android Auto dongles?
Since we have all three currently wireless Android Auto dongles on hand, we wanted to know if there’s anything that you want to know about these products. While we, unfortunately, can’t test these out with a wide breadth of vehicles, we can answer any other questions you might have about how these work, which might best fit your use case, or anything else you might have in mind.
Drop a comment below, and we’ll do our best to answer your questions for the next few days! We’ll also update this article with a few FAQs soon.
Author: Ben Schoon