How to set up an Android Auto wireless adapter

It’s easy, so along as you own a compatible phone and car.

How to set up an Android Auto wireless adapter

Android Auto, like Apple's CarPlay, gives drivers easy access to their favorite mobile apps, including Google Maps, Waze, Spotify, and more. About the only annoying part is that you need to plug your phone in every time you get in your car.

How to set up an Android Auto wireless adapter

Thankfully, an Android Auto wireless adapter can make short work of that problem — as long as you don't need to charge your device at the same time.

How to set up an Android Auto wireless adapter

What is an Android Auto wireless adapter?

The name says it all

An Android Auto wireless adapter will help you wirelessly connect your phone to your car's infotainment system.

If your car previously required you to plug in your phone using a cable, now you just plug in the adapter. Every time you get in the car, your phone will automatically connect to the adapter and bring up all your Android Auto apps on the screen.

How to set up an Android Auto wireless adapter

How do Android Auto wireless adapters work?

A relay for your Android phone

As mentioned, Android Auto wireless adapters allow your Android phone to connect to your car's infotainment system without the need for a cable. They use Bluetooth and a wired connection to your car to transmit audio, video, and other information between the phone and car.

Android Auto wireless adapters work by physically connecting to one of your car's USB port. So, instead of plugging in your phone, you plug in this tiny device. Once connected, your car's infotainment system will recognize your Android phone and pull up all your usual apps.

How to set up an Android Auto wireless adapter

Additionally, once your phone is connected in this way, it will start automatically forwarding information such as music, directions, messages, and phone calls wirelessly to your vehicle's infotainment system. In short, an adapter acts as an relay between your Android device and car.

Unlike traditional wired connections, Android Auto wireless adapters offer more flexibility in terms of device placement. Since you're no longer limited by cables or ports, you can find a place for the adapter where it won't be an annoyance, such as sticking it to the console with double-sided tape; in fact, the adapter you buy may even include tape inside the box. During this time, your phone can be left wherever you had it before getting in the car, be it your bag or your pocket.

How to set up an Android Auto wireless adapter

Don't worry, it's easy

To set up an Android Auto, you need two things: a compatible Android smartphone running Android 11 or later and a supported car. You should also need to ensure both are running the latest software to avoid any connectivity issues.

  1. Turn on your car's engine and make sure your Android Auto wireless adapter is plugged into the infotainment system. The LED on the adapter will light up.
  2. If they're not on already, enable your phone's WiFi and Bluetooth connections.
  3. Open the Bluetooth menu and find your adapter's name on your list. Tap Connect.
  4. Tap on Android Auto on your car's infotainment center if requested.

That's it. The above steps apply to most Android Auto wireless adapters on the market — they're about as plug-and-play as a modern device can be.

How to set up an Android Auto wireless adapter

Android Auto wireless adapter pros and cons

As with any technology, there are pros and cons to using a wireless Android Auto adapter.


  • Ease of use: You get in the car and Android Auto automatically pops up on your screen
  • Most adapters are tiny and don't take up a lot of space
  • You'll no longer have to deal with cables getting in the way


  • Your phone won't be fully charged by the time you reach your destination. In fact, your phone's battery will drain more quickly due to the taxing wireless connection to your car.
  • There can sometimes be a bit of lag between your phone and your Android Auto dangle, so it can take a few moments too long to load when you get in the car, or the connection can sometimes drop.

How to set up an Android Auto wireless adapter


Q: Which Android Auto wireless adapter should you buy?

While the basic functionality of most Android Auto wireless adapters is the same, there are differences in terms of connectivity, compatibility with different car models, and additional features. While it's outside the scope of this article to provide buying recommendations, Pocket-lint has an entirely separate guide detailing the best Android Auto wireless adapters you can buy right now.

Q: Do Android Auto wireless adapters work with all car models?

Not all car models are compatible with Android Auto wireless adapters. Compatibility depends on the car's infotainment system and USB port configuration. It's important to check the adapter's compatibility with your specific car model before purchasing.

Q: Can I use an Android Auto wireless adapter with an iPhone?

Android Auto is designed specifically for Android devices. iPhone users need to use Apple CarPlay for wireless connectivity. However, some wireless adapters include 2-in-1 functionality, offering both Android Auto and CarPlay wireless experiences.

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