How to install Android software on car stereo?

Android Auto is Google’s solution for extending the Android platform into the car


. It allows you to connect your Android phone to your car’s infotainment system, providing a simple and intuitive interface to access music, navigation, communications and more while driving. Some of the key benefits of Android Auto include:


– Safer driving: Android Auto minimizes distractions by providing voice commands and simplified screens. This allows drivers to keep their hands on the wheel and eyes on the road.


– Google Maps integration: Get turn-by-turn navigation along with live traffic updates and lane guidance directly on your car’s screen. This makes navigating much easier.


– Media & messaging: Stream music and podcasts from apps, take calls and send messages hands-free using Google Assistant. This allows you to access your favorite media seamlessly.


– Vehicle data: Monitor your vehicle’s data like fuel level and tire pressure right from your car’s display. This provides greater awareness while driving.


– Customizable interface: The simple home screen can be customized by pinning your most used apps for easy access. You can optimize Android Auto as per your preferences.


Before installing Android Auto on your car stereo, you need to make sure you have a compatible system. Most modern car stereos and head units are compatible, but here are some things to check for:

– The head unit needs to have an LCD touchscreen display. Android Auto will display on the head unit screen.
– It should support Android Auto wireless or wired connections. Check the specifications to confirm.
– You’ll need at least Android 5.0 or higher on your smartphone to run the Android Auto app.

– Your car stereo firmware must be up-to-date for maximum compatibility.
– Some stereos require installation of a separate Android Auto interface module.
– Ensure you have all necessary cables to connect your phone to the stereo.

Confirm that your head unit meets these prerequisites before trying to install Android Auto. Refer to your car stereo manual or contact the manufacturer if unsure about compatibility. Some stereo systems like Sony XAV-AX5500 are designed specifically for Android Auto.

Download Android Auto App

The first step is to download the Android Auto app from the Google Play Store. You can find the app by searching for “Android Auto” or use this direct link to the app:


The Android Auto app allows you to connect your Android phone to your car’s infotainment system and access key features such as Google Maps, media playback, messaging, and voice control in a simplified interface optimized for driving. The app is free to download from the Google Play Store.

Once you have the Android Auto app installed on your phone, you can proceed to connecting your phone to your car’s infotainment system, which will be covered in the next section.

Connect Phone to Car Stereo

The most common way to connect your Android phone to your car’s stereo system is via a USB cable. This allows you to play music, stream podcasts, and use navigation apps from your phone through your car’s speakers.

First, locate the USB port in your car’s stereo system. This is usually located on the front panel of the stereo. If you don’t see a USB port, consult your owner’s manual to find where it is located.

Next, use a USB cable to connect your Android phone to the USB port. Make sure you are using a high-quality USB cable that supports data transfer. The USB end goes into the port on your car stereo, while the micro USB end connects to your phone. Refer to your car stereo manual on how to enable USB connectivity.

According to CNET, once connected via USB, you may need to select USB as the audio source on your car stereo interface to begin playing media files from your Android phone. The car stereo should then be able to access and play music files stored on your phone or SD card (Source).

With the USB connection, you can access playlists, podcasts, audiobooks, and navigation apps hands-free using your car stereo and speakers. Make sure to adjust the volume and settings on your car stereo as needed.

Enable Android Auto

To enable Android Auto on your phone and car stereo system, follow these steps:

On the phone:

  • Open the Android Auto app on your phone. This comes pre-installed on most Android devices running Android 5.0 or higher. If you can’t find it, check your app drawer or settings. According to Google support, “Android Auto is built into the phone as a technology that enables your phone to connect to your car display.”[1]
  • Accept any prompts to get started and enable Android Auto. This will guide you through any initial setup.
  • Make sure Bluetooth is enabled on your phone so it can pair with your car.

On the car stereo system:

  • Locate the USB port in your car and plug your phone in with a USB cable.
  • Follow any prompts on the car stereo to allow access to Android Auto. You may need to enable or approve the connection on both devices.
  • If Android Auto doesn’t launch, try enabling it in your car stereo settings. There is usually a menu for Android Auto, CarPlay, or general smartphone connectivity.

Once connected, Android Auto should launch on your car stereo’s display. You can now interact with apps through your car’s interface.

Customize Settings

Android Auto allows you to customize various settings and preferences to personalize your experience. You can adjust options like screen layout, theme colors, app shortcuts, and more.

To access Android Auto settings, open the Android Auto app on your phone and tap the Settings icon in the top right corner. From here, you can tweak options like:

  • Choose between a split screen view or a full screen map layout (Mint).
  • Select light or dark mode.
  • Add shortcut buttons for favorite apps.
  • Adjust font size.
  • Turn on voice playback to hear responses.
  • Prioritize map data usage for stable navigation.

Customizing these settings allows you to optimize Android Auto for your personal preferences and make using apps safer and easier while driving. Tweaking the layout, theme, and shortcuts can improve the experience.

Add Apps

Adding useful apps to Android Auto can maximize the functionality and enjoyment of your driving experience. Some of the most popular categories of apps to download are music, messaging, and navigation.

For music, consider apps like Pandora, Spotify, or SiriusXM to stream tunes or podcasts while driving.Messaging apps such as Facebook Messenger or Telegram allow you to receive and respond to texts hands-free.

For navigation, Google Maps and Waze are top choices, providing turn-by-turn directions and real-time traffic updates. Downloading must-have apps will allow you to get the most functionality from Android Auto.

Update Android Auto

Keeping Android Auto up-to-date is important to ensure you have the latest features, bug fixes, and security enhancements. Android Auto updates are handled through the Android Auto app on your phone, not your car’s head unit.

Here are the steps to update Android Auto on your Android phone (cite: source):

  1. Open the Google Play Store app.
  2. Search for “Android Auto”.
  3. Tap on the Android Auto app.
  4. Tap “Update” if an update is available. The latest version number is shown under “What’s new”.
  5. Tap “Accept” to download and install the update.

Android Auto will automatically update whenever new versions are released as long as you have auto-updates enabled for apps in the Play Store (cite: source). Make sure this setting is turned on to receive updates as soon as they become available.

Updating frequently ensures you have access to the latest Android Auto features and improvements. It also ensures you are running the most secure version of the app.


Here are some common issues and solutions for troubleshooting Android Auto:

Android Auto App Not Connecting

First, check that your phone is compatible with Android Auto by referring to the list of supported phones on the Android Auto website. If your phone is supported, try these troubleshooting steps:

  • Make sure your phone’s operating system and the Android Auto app are up to date (Android Auto Help).
  • Restart your phone and the car stereo/infotainment system (Asurion).
  • Check that Bluetooth, WiFi, and mobile data are enabled on your phone.
  • Delete the phone from the car stereo and unpair Bluetooth devices, then reconnect (MakeUseOf).

Connection Issues

If Android Auto struggles to maintain a steady connection, try these tips:

  • Use the original USB cable from your phone and plug it directly into the car’s USB port.
  • Toggle airplane mode on and off on your phone to refresh the connection.
  • Check for issues with the USB port by connecting another device.
  • Restart the car stereo and phone.

App Issues

If certain apps are not working properly or crashing:

  • Check for app updates and update to the latest versions.
  • Try deleting the app’s cache and data.
  • Uninstall and reinstall the problematic app.
  • Restart the phone and disconnect/reconnect to Android Auto.

If issues persist after trying these troubleshooting tips, contact the car stereo manufacturer or smartphone carrier for further support.

Tips for Better Experience

There are several ways to optimize your use of Android Auto for the best experience:

Use voice commands whenever possible to keep your hands on the wheel and eyes on the road. Say “Ok Google” or press the microphone button to send messages, get directions, play music and more. See a full list of Android Auto voice commands.

Customize which apps show in Android Auto by going to Settings > Connected devices > Connection preferences in the Android Auto app. Drag your most used apps to the top.

Improve audio quality by going to Settings > Sound in the Android Auto app and adjusting options like equalizer and volume leveling.

Switch to Android Auto’s night mode for easier viewing at night by tapping the brightness icon in Android Auto and selecting Night.

Troubleshoot connectivity issues by checking for app updates, restarting your phone, cleaning the phone and stereo connectors, and checking stereo USB port settings.

Adjust Android Auto settings for notification sounds/popups, default maps app, automatically launching on connect and other preferences for your desired experience.

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