Does Soundstream support Android Auto?

What is Android Auto?

Android Auto is a platform developed by Google to allow Android smartphones to integrate seamlessly with vehicle infotainment systems. It is designed to minimize distractions while driving by allowing users to access apps and services through the vehicle’s display and controls.

The main purpose of Android Auto is to project a simplified version of the smartphone onto the car’s touchscreen. This provides quick access to key functions like navigation, music, messaging, and voice commands in a format optimized for driving.

Some of the key features of Android Auto include:

  • Google Maps for turn-by-turn navigation
  • Google Assistant for voice controls
  • Ability to access music apps like Spotify
  • Messaging apps for sending and receiving texts
  • News and podcast apps
  • Customizable home screen with frequently used apps

By connecting an Android phone to a compatible infotainment system, Android Auto allows drivers to minimize physical interactions with their phone and focus on the road. It brings a safer, more seamless experience to in-car technology (Source:

What devices support Android Auto?

Android Auto is supported on most Android smartphones from major brands like Samsung, Google, LG, Motorola, and more. Here are some of the popular phone models that work with Android Auto:

  • Google Pixel series (Pixel 2 and newer) 1
  • Samsung Galaxy series (S8 and newer) 1
  • LG V and G series (LG G6 and newer) 1
  • Motorola Moto G models (Moto G5 and newer) 1

In general, most phones running Android 8.0 Oreo or newer support Android Auto. Refer to Google’s compatibility list for the latest phone models confirmed to work with Android Auto.

What are the benefits of Android Auto?

Android Auto provides several key benefits that improve the driving experience and increase safety. The two main benefits are the hands-free use through voice commands and the safety features that reduce driver distraction.

Android Auto allows drivers to access many of their phone’s features in a hands-free manner through voice commands. Drivers can make calls, send messages, get directions, play music and more while keeping their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. This hands-free use of a phone through Android Auto significantly reduces distracted driving compared to manually using a phone.

In addition to hands-free use, Android Auto has built-in safety features to reduce dangerous distractions. It limits notifications and provides simple, easy-to-use interfaces that require minimal interaction from the driver. Android Auto also has the Google Assistant built-in, allowing drivers to get help and information through natural voice conversations. Features like voice replies for messages further reduce physical interaction with devices while driving.

By promoting hands-free use of phones through voice and providing safety features that minimize dangerous distractions, Android Auto enables drivers to stay focused on the road while still accessing useful phone features.

How to Connect to Android Auto

There are two main ways to connect your Android phone to Android Auto – using a USB cable or wirelessly using Bluetooth. Connecting via USB cable is the most common method.

To connect your Android phone to your car’s infotainment system using a USB cable:

  • First, plug your phone into your car’s USB port using a USB cable. This will usually be located in the center console.
  • Make sure you are using a high-quality USB cable that supports data transfer. Some charging-only cables may not work.
  • On your phone, unlock it and open the Android Auto app.
  • Follow the on-screen prompts to allow access to your phone’s data and begin the Android Auto setup process. You may need to enable certain permissions.
  • Your car display will switch to Android Auto and you can begin using maps, music, and other apps.

To connect wirelessly using Bluetooth:

  • First ensure your car is compatible with wireless Android Auto.
  • Pair your phone to your car’s Bluetooth system.
  • Open the Android Auto app on your phone and enable wireless projection.
  • Your car display should automatically switch to Android Auto.

Make sure Bluetooth is turned on, on both your phone and car system. The devices will automatically connect whenever you enter the car.

What audio systems support Android Auto?

There are two main types of audio systems that support Android Auto – built-in infotainment systems and aftermarket head units:

Built-in infotainment systems: Many newer vehicles come with infotainment systems built into the dashboard that support Android Auto. Major car manufacturers like Ford, GM, Honda, Hyundai, and Toyota offer Android Auto compatibility in select models. This allows you to connect your Android phone to the car’s built-in display screen via USB and access Android Auto’s features.

Aftermarket head units: These are replacement stereos/receivers that can be installed in your car to add Android Auto support. Brands like Pioneer, Kenwood, Sony, and JVC offer aftermarket receivers that enable Android Auto in your car.

These aftermarket units replace your factory stereo with a system that has Android Auto integration built-in. This allows you to enjoy Android Auto’s features like Google Maps navigation, voice commands, and music streaming on your car’s display.

Introducing Soundstream

Soundstream is an audio company based in the United States that specializes in car audio systems and components. Founded in 1975 by Arnold Siegel, Soundstream aimed to produce high-quality, audiophile-grade car audio equipment for discerning listeners.

According to the Soundstream website, the company believes that “sound quality and performance is the #1 goal” of their products [1]. This focus on audio excellence and innovation has made them a popular brand among car audio enthusiasts.

In the early years, Soundstream made history by being the first company to release CD-quality digital audio recordings for cars. As described on the Soundstream history page, “They were built here in the USA, mostly in my factory from 1981 to 1998 or in Soundstream’s factory from 1999 to 2002” [2].

Over its 45+ year history, Soundstream has gone through changes in ownership but has maintained its reputation for quality car audio products proudly designed and built in America.

Soundstream Head Units with Android Auto Support

Soundstream offers several multimedia head units that are compatible with Android Auto, allowing you to access apps and services directly from your car’s touchscreen display. Models that support Android Auto include:

These Android Auto enabled head units allow you to safely access your apps, contacts, music and navigation through your car’s display. Key features provided include Google Maps integration, hands-free calling and messaging, and voice commands.

How to Connect Soundstream to Android Auto

Connecting a Soundstream head unit to Android Auto is a straightforward process that only takes a few steps:

  1. Make sure you have a compatible Android phone running Android 5.0 or higher. Popular models like the Samsung Galaxy S8/S9/S10 and Google Pixel phones support Android Auto.
  2. Obtain a high-quality USB cable to connect your phone to the Soundstream head unit. The cable should be short (ideally under 5 feet) and support data transfer.
  3. Turn on your car and the Soundstream head unit.
  4. Plug your Android phone into the USB port on the Soundstream head unit using the USB cable. This will launch Android Auto.
  5. Follow the on-screen prompts to allow access to contacts, messages etc. Make sure to enable notifications so incoming calls and texts can be displayed.
  6. The Soundstream screen will now display the Android Auto interface. You can access navigation, music, calls and texts just using the head unit controls.
  7. Say “OK Google” or tap the microphone icon to use voice commands at any time.

That’s all there is to it! Android Auto turns the Soundstream head unit into an extension of your phone’s apps and services. You’ll stay focused on the road while controlling music, navigation and more with the responsive touchscreen.

Android Auto Limitations

While Android Auto offers many benefits, it does have some limitations that users should be aware of.

One limitation of Android Auto is its reliance on an internet connection. Android Auto needs to be connected to the internet via your phone’s mobile data or your car’s built-in WiFi hotspot in order to access maps, stream music and podcasts, and use voice commands [1]. If you lose connectivity, you may lose access to key features.

There are also some app limitations with Android Auto. While many popular apps like Spotify, Google Maps, and podcast players are supported, the app ecosystem is not as robust as a regular Android phone and certain apps are not available. For example, video streaming apps cannot be used and you cannot install arbitrary new apps – only preapproved apps will work with Android Auto [2].

Finally, some users report bugs or glitches with Android Auto, especially after major Android updates. Issues like laggy performance, frozen screens, connection problems, and app crashes are common complaints. While temporary workarounds exist, Android Auto’s stability is not always reliable [3].

The future of Android Auto

Android Auto is constantly evolving with new features and capabilities. According to Google’s 2024 CES announcement, upcoming developments for Android Auto include:

Improved navigation with more accurate ETAs, better rerouting to avoid traffic, and integration of traffic light and stop sign locations for some cities (

Enhanced entertainment options through partnerships with apps like YouTube Music, Amazon Music, and Audible. Users will have access to over 100 million songs and audiobooks right from their car display.

Personalization of the launch screen and custom wallpapers to make Android Auto feel more tailored to individual users.

The ability to check Nest camera feeds on the car display to view live video from home while on the go.

Better integration with digital car key technology to unlock vehicles from Android phones.

Built-in Google Assistant voice commands for quick access to navigation, entertainment, communication, vehicle controls, and smart home devices.

As automakers continue transitioning to Android Automotive OS, native Android Auto will also improve through tighter integration and optimized performance. The future looks bright for Android Auto as Google invests heavily in innovations for in-car technology.

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