When Android 11 rolls out next month, the number of devices that will support wireless Android Auto will grow to all of them.
According to Google’s FAQ page that was updated recently, all Android 11 devices will support wireless Android Auto.
There is one caveat though, and that is the fact that the phone needs to support 5GHz WiFi. Luckily, that is going to be virtually every phone released in the last few years. So there shouldn’t be many without support for Wireless Android Auto.
Android 11 doesn’t necessarily mean you can use wireless Android Auto though
With wireless Android Auto, there are two things that you need to work. Your phone must support wireless Android Auto. As well as your head unit.
Currently, there are only a handful of head units that support wireless Android Auto, mostly from Pioneer and JVC Kenwood. Which means you likely still won’t be able to use wireless Android Auto, even after getting the Android 11 update next month.
What this does, however, is it makes wireless Android Auto possible in the future. Ford and BMW have already announced plans to support it in its future models. But it won’t be available in older models of its vehicles that already support Android Auto.
Wireless Android Auto launched in 2018
Wireless Android Auto is still a fairly new thing. Google launched it about two years ago at Google I/O.
The adoption for wireless Android Auto has been pretty slow so far. Likely because it requires quite a bit of changes in the hardware. So that it will work properly.
It’s also because the car needs to be able to set up a wireless network – hence the 5GHz WiFi feature being needed – since Bluetooth itself doesn’t have enough bandwidth to run Android Auto. WiFi is needed as it supports more bandwidth.
Though, wireless Android Auto does also have its drawbacks. For instance, your phone won’t be charging while you’re in the car, if you’re using wireless Android Auto. Which can be an issue, since Android Auto does use up a good amount of juice. This is because it is running on another display, also using Maps and GPS and possibly streaming music as well. All things that can really use a lot of data, and thus battery consumption.
While wireless Android Auto might be great to see, and use, it might not be the best thing since sliced bread though. Especially if you own a Pixel 4, and the battery will be dead in a few minutes.