Google Activates Android Auto Wireless

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Google officially switched on Android Auto Wireless capability in 5 of its own phone models, with smartphones from other phone makers to follow.

Kenwood said on Friday, dealers were beginning to report successfully using Android Auto Wireless and that no additional firmware was required from Kenwood.

Dealer Nick Frazier of iNNovative Concepts in West Springfield, MA was the first to report he successfully activated two of Kenwood’s new radio models with Android Auto Wireless (the DDX9905s and DNX995s).

Currently only the following phones work Android Auto Wireless.

  • Pixel or Pixel XL
  • Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL
  • Nexus 5X or 6P

Google stated it is actively working with other smartphone makers on adding wireless compatibility and it ‘hopes to share more updates soon.’

Phones must be running the Oreo operating system and users must download Version 3.1 of the Android Auto app.  They also must use a “high-quality USB cable” and manual connection for the initial pairing.  After that the car radio will automatically recognize the phone wirelessly and launch Android Auto.

Frazier tested three Kenwood decks in customers cars and one on his test board.  Speed of operation is identical to wired Android Auto and there’s no degradation in functions, he said.

What about battery life, now that your phone is not plugged in?  Frazier said, “For the most part, phones nowadays have a pretty decent battery life and to some, the convenience of not having to take out the phone each time trumps the need to charge it.” He added that a customer that is coming up from New York for an install with a wireless charging pad plus Android Auto Wireless.

Perhaps wireless Android Auto and Wireless CarPlay will boost demand for aftermarket wireless charging pads.

Pioneer and JVC are also planning Android Auto Wireless decks.   Pioneer’s version was unveiled at CES and is expected to offer both Wireless CarPlay and Android Auto Wireless.  Pioneer has not yet announced a ship date for the product.

JVC is due to launch two decks with Wireless Android Auto very shortly, it said. The decks include the KW-V940BW at $699.95 and the mechless KW-M845BW at $599.95.

Kenwood’s Android Auto Wireless decks include the DNX-995S with Garmin navigation and high-definition screen at a suggested retail price of $1,500 and the DDX-9905S DVD/receiver with hi-def screen at $1,100, plus the DMX-905S, the DMX-875S, and DDX-9705S.

Photo via ABT

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