Android Auto was supposed to bring wireless connectivity to all Android devices starting with the release of Android 9.0 Pie. That obviously did not happen—now more than a year later, it has only arrived on a spattering of phones, including Google's own Pixel handsets and its Nexus 6P and Nexus 5X. Well, that is starting to change. Android Auto is expanding its wireless reach to select Samsung phones.
As outlined in an updated support document, Android Auto supports wireless connectivity on nine Samsung handsets, which more than doubles the total number of supported phones to 17 devices. Here is the full list...
- Pixel and Pixel XL
- Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL
- Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL
- Nexus 5X and Nexus 6P
- Samsung Galaxy S8 and Galaxy S8+
- Samsung Galaxy S9 and Galaxy S9+
- Samsung Galaxy S10 and Galaxy S10+
- Samsung Galaxy Note 8, Galaxy Note 9, and Galaxy Note 10
On the Pixel and Nexus devices outlined above, Android 8.0 or later is required. For the Samsung phones that have now been added, Android 9.0 or higher is required to connect wireless to Android Auto.
It's nice to see wireless connectivity finally gaining some legs in the smart auto space. I recently bought a new car that supports Apple's CarPlay, and having to plug in my iPhone each time to use it is definitely an inconvenience (there are some cars that support wireless CarPlay, but not many).
Things are a bit better in the Android camp. While support for wireless connectivity is not ubiquitous, it's certainly encouraging to see Google add a bunch of Samsung phones to the mix, including its latest flagship offerings among the Galaxy S and Note series.
There is a tiny caveat—you still need a cable to initially tether your phone to set things up. Once you do that, however, you can ditch the cord if you would prefer to roll that way.