If you’re looking to buy a new car, there’s a good chance that the built-in head unit/infotainment system supports either Apple’s CarPlay or Google’s Android Auto. If it does, then great! You’ll have access to a wide range of apps and services thanks to integration with your iPhone or Android device. Apple has supported wireless CarPlay since iOS 9, but wireless Android Auto requires that you specifically have a Nexus 5X/6P or a Pixel smartphone and reside in the U.S., Canada, or Mexico. However, it turns out the device requirement may have silently changed in the past few weeks, as dozens of Redditors found out.
Google first rolled out the new wireless Android Auto in April of 2018, but it was only available for Nexus and Pixel smartphones running at least Android 8.0 Oreo. In May of 2018, a Kenwood press release suggested that wireless Android Auto will be made available for non-Google devices with the Android 9 Pie update, but the press release was quietly updated to say that Google was still working on bringing wider compatibility for Android Auto wireless. Over a year later, Google may have finally flipped the switch to enable support for non-Google smartphones.
On the /r/AndroidAuto subreddit, Redditor /u/dingonugget discovered he was able to pair his OnePlus 7 Pro with his Kenwood Excelon DMX905S after-market head unit.
After sharing his method, multiple Redditors discovered that their own non-Google smartphones were capable of using Android Auto wirelessly. Redditors with smartphones like the Honor 9, Samsung Galaxy Note 8, Samsung Galaxy S10, LG V40 ThinQ, and OnePlus 6T reported success, many using after-market head units from different manufacturers. The OP of the Reddit thread compiled a list of devices and the head units that the devices were successfully paired to:
- OnePlus 7 Pro w/ Kenwood Excellon DMX905S
- Huawei Honor 9 w/ Pioneer W4400NEX
- Samsung Galaxy Note 8 w/ Pioneer W4400NEX
- Samsung Galaxy S10+ w/ Kenwood Excellon DMX905S
- Samsung Galaxy S8 w/ Kenwood Excellon DMX905S
- Samsung Galaxy S10+ w/ Pioneer AVIC-W8400NEX
- LG V40 ThinQ w/ Pioneer AVIC-W8400NEX
- Samsung Galaxy S10 w/ Pioneer W4400NEX
- Samsung Galaxy S10+ w/ Pioneer W4400NEX
- Samsung Galaxy S10 w/ Kenwood Excellon DDX9905S
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9 w/ Kenwood Excellon DDX9705S
- Samsung Galaxy S10 w/ Kenwood Excellon DMX905S
- Samsung Galaxy Note 9 w/ Pioneer W4400NEX
- Samsung Galaxy S9+ w/ Pioneer W4400NEX
- OnePlus 6T w/ JVC KW-M845BW
- OnePlus 6T w/ Pioneer W4400NEX (running Pixel ROM)
- Samsung Galaxy S10 w/ Kenwood Excellon DDX9705S
- OnePlus 6T w/ Kenwood Excellon DNX995S
- OnePlus 6T w/ JVC KW-M855W
- Samsung Galaxy S9 w/ Kenwood Excellon DDX9905S
- Samsung Galaxy S10+ w/ Pioneer W8400NEX
If you’re interested in trying this for yourself, here’s what you have to do.
Set up Wireless Android Auto on non-Pixel smartphones
- You must be on the latest Google Play Services beta. You can join the beta program and grab the update through the Play Store, or you can sideload the latest beta APK from a site like APKMirror. If you sideload the app, be sure to grab the version that corresponds to your device’s architecture and Android version.
- Your smartphone to be running at least Android 9 Pie. According to the OP of the Reddit thread, Android 8 Oreo does not appear to work as the method didn’t work on his son’s Moto Z2 Play.
- Your head unit must support wireless Android Auto. Most built-in head units don’t support it, but plenty of after-market ones do.
- Enable development settings in the Android Auto app by opening the app, tapping settings, scrolling down until you see “version,” and then tapping on “version” 10 times.
- Enter Development Settings.
- Select “show wireless projection option.”
- Reboot your phone.
- Follow your head unit’s instructions on connecting to it wirelessly.
Here’s a screen recording made by /u/dingonugget showing off steps 1-3:
If after attempting these steps you still can’t get it working or you don’t own a head unit compatible with Android Auto wireless, then you can try using AAGateWay from XDA Recognized Developer Emil Borconi to use your wired head unit as a wireless one. Alternatively, you can turn any Android compatible device into a wireless Android Auto head unit with HeadUnit Reloaded. This app is from the same developer, but it’s a bit more hacky.