Setting up Android Auto in a brand-new car is a fairly straightforward process. While carmakers can’t yet provide users with a plug-and-play experience, mostly because Android Auto needs special permissions to work properly, following a few steps displayed on the screen should get everything up and running in minutes.
Compared to Hyundai, Toyota simplified the out-of-the-box approach by reducing the number of steps required for the first launch. As such, Toyota cars don’t come with any special settings on the infotainment system to enable Android Auto or mobile phone projection.
The only thing you’ll see when running Android Auto for the first time is a prompt on the infotainment system asking if you want to allow the connection. Otherwise, everything is rather straightforward and convenient and starts with connecting the phone to the head unit.
This step is required regardless of the Android Auto version installed in the car. Android Auto wired should be used with a high-speed cable – typically, the one in the phone’s box should do it. However, as every Android Auto user figures out at one point, there’s no such thing as a perfect cable in the Google world. As a result, try to always stick with high-quality cables, and if the app stops working, checking out the cord is the first thing to do.
When the connection between the phone and the head unit is established, Android Auto should launch on your mobile device. The app presents the user with a series of steps that must be completed before it’s activated in the car. The process is simple and includes basic information and permission requests to make sure Android Auto runs flawlessly.
Once the initial configuration is complete on the mobile device, an Android Auto prompt should appear on your Toyota screen. This is a confirmation you configured Android Auto properly, and now, it’s ready to launch. Your infotainment system must allow the app to run in the car. Select “Yes” when asked if you want to run Android Auto. Afterward, an Android Auto icon should load on the vehicle’s infotainment display, and tapping it launches the app instantly.
Setting up Android Auto wireless requires a few additional steps. This is mostly because the wireless version of the app requires a Bluetooth connection between the mobile device and the head unit.
The first thing you must do for a wireless connection is pair the phone with the car. Start by enabling Bluetooth on the Android device. Then, on your vehicle’s multimedia screen, go to Settings and look for a Bluetooth menu. Tap it, and you should see an option called “Add another device.” When you launch this option, the car should start scanning for nearby Bluetooth devices. The mobile phone should appear at the top of the list, so tap it to start the pairing process. The process doesn’t take more than a few seconds, though you might be required to manually enter a pairing code displayed on one of the two devices.
Afterward, you must follow the same steps as in the case of Android Auto wired. When the app is ready to launch, the same prompt will be displayed on the vehicle’s infotainment unit, so click “Yes” to continue. Android Auto should display an icon on the media receiver’s home screen when everything is properly configured.
If you’re unsure what Android Auto connectivity is available in your car, the best way to find out is to ask your dealer. Otherwise, you could try setting up a wireless connection and see if Android Auto can be launched without a cable.
Android Auto comes standard on MY 2020 Toyota cars, while the wireless version is available on select MY 2022 and newer models.
The main benefit of running Android Auto in the car is easy access to messaging, music, and navigation. Thanks to Google Assistant integration, drivers can interact with these apps hands-free, reducing distraction significantly.
The debut of Coolwalk, a major Android Auto redesign now rolling out to users, allows running multiple apps side-by-side on the same screen, regardless of the infotainment screen’s dimensions. The interface is divided into cards for navigation solutions, audio apps, and phone calls. This increases safety, as drivers no longer need to toggle between apps to access certain information. Coolwalk is not yet available for all users, as Google enables the new experience in stages for devices worldwide. However, always running the latest Android Auto version helps increase the chances of getting Coolwalk faster, while also making sure that known bugs are already resolved.