Volkswagen is doing something pretty neat with Android Auto in its latest vehicle to hit the road, the ID.4 electric SUV, by offering wireless AA connectivity as a standard feature.
More to the point though, Volkswagen isn’t just making wireless Android Auto standard, it’s making it standard across all four trim options the vehicle will be sold in. Starting with the entry level Pro model, the all-new ID.4 makes it possible to link up your Android smartphone at no additional charge.
Which is something that a lot of other auto manufacturers don’t seem to be offering. Android Auto has been available for years and wireless connectivity is available on other vehicles. However, most vehicles don’t seem to offer wireless Android Auto as a standard feature, and that’s where Volkswagen is trying to set the tone.
The Pro model starts at $39,995. With the highest trim model, the AWD Pro S, being priced below $50,000 ($48,175).
Volkswagen makes wireless Android Auto available for all
Volkswagen’s all-new ID.4 has many things that make it a compelling vehicle choice. From being an electric vehicle to offering Travel Assist – a semi-automated driving assistance feature. But it’s the wireless Android Auto connectivity on all trim options (for free) that really deserves to be highlighted here.
Volkswagen isn’t restricting the tech to just certain variations. Rather, it has decided to make it available across the board. We spoke with Volkswagen about its decision to make it a standard feature. And cutting right to the chase, the auto brand thinks Android Auto is just really cool technology.
So it thought, why not make it a standard add for any trim in its new EV. Volkswagen doesn’t stop there though. As it’s important to note that Android Auto is available both wirelessly and wired. So you can connect your Android smartphone using a cable if you want to. But it isn’t absolutely necessary.
What about charging your device, you might ask? Surely you’ll need to keep it plugged in, right? Because of the battery drain. Well, you might think so. But that isn’t always the case because the ID.4 offers wireless charging too In all trim options no less. That means if your phone also supports wireless charging, you can keep it topped up while also wirelessly connecting to the Android Auto feature.
Why AA integration as standard matters
If you’ve never used Android Auto before, it’s easy to to overlook why it’s a wonderful feature to have in the car. It’s hugely beneficial to the driver for a number of reasons.
For one it gives you access to things like navigation straight from your device through Google Maps. And by now most people with a smartphone should be aware that Google Maps navigation is superior to the navigation in most vehicles. AA also makes it possible to access directions through Waze, music through Spotify or YouTube Music, or even audio books through Play Books.
Google designed it to keep drivers focused on the road but also allow the drive to be fun. You can stay connected to family and friends and navigate the path to your destination with Google’s help. And because Android Auto is powered by Google Assistant, just about everything can be controlled through voice.
These are the major reasons why having it as a standard feature is such a big deal. It’s unique (for now) to see wireless AA integration available at no cost regardless of the variation of a vehicle you choose.
Especially at the price point the Volkswagen ID.4 is starting at. We think, (and Volkswagen likely thinks so too) that this decision will cause more auto brands to do the same thing.
ID.4 comes with a big display, which means split-screen apps
Very recently, Android Auto started gaining the capability to run two apps side by side in a split-screen fashion.
But it reportedly only works if the head unit for the infotainment display is larger than 7-inches. Well, it seems the Volkswagen ID.4 is in a good position here. Because it comes with a fairly large 10-inch display, even on the entry level Pro trim option. That’s compared to other SUVs in its class, like the Toyota RAV4 and the Honda CR-V. Which as standard, only offer 7-inch displays.
On top of that, both of those vehicles only offer wired Android Auto integration. And neither of them have it as standard. Which means you pay more for it if you want it. This puts further value into the VW ID.4. As it should be able to utilize the new split-screen feature of AA on its 10-inch screen.
With that feature, you could have navigation up on one side while your music controls are up on the other side. This also in a way should make AA more safe to use. Since both of those things could be continuously displayed, and that means less flipping back and forth between apps. Again, letting you focus more on the road.
Of course the ID.4 offers a swath of other notable features. In its entry level Pro trim option no less. You can view those in a comparison chart breakdown below.
Seamless integration for a hassle-free experience
Convenience and ease of use are big factors in getting some people to use technology. So, it’s important to really drive home that Android Auto integration with the Volkswagen ID.4 is pretty seamless. Thanks to the wireless connectivity as standard, and the included wireless charging capability.
Obviously, for the most seamless experience there are a few things that need to fall in place. Android Auto will drain your battery more than if you don’t have it connected. So to make things easy wireless charging is there. But your phone has to support that. And if it doesn’t then you won’t benefit from it even though the ID.4 offers it.
However, those who look at this vehicle as a possible option for their next ride, have more of a reason to think about getting a phone that does have wireless charging. Even more so if they’re interested in using Android Auto with as little effort as possible.
When you get right down to it, Volkswagen is offering something unique here. And while that might not be the case forever, it is currently and that definitely works in VW’s favor.