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Android Car Stereo: The Definitive Overview of Technology

Having a car is one thing but having a sophisticated entertainment system in your car is another. It is even better when you have an Android Auto, which functions with an Android Car Stereo.

A brief history of Android Car Stereo

Google introduced Android Car Stereo in 2015 as a response to Apple’s Carplay App. Google created an Android Car Stereo to run a car’s in-dash system. Android Car Stereo helps a driver run navigation, control music, send messages, amongst others, while driving.

At the early stages of Google’s Android Car Stereo, a mobile device is connected to the car via USB to achieve the above-stated functions. However, over the years, there have been some modifications to Google’s Android Auto Stereo.

In 2016, Google added the option to run Android Car Stereo as a regular app on an Android device. This allows the Android device to be used on Android auto-head units. In 2018, a wireless Android Auto head unit that operates without the need for a wired connection was announced by JVC Kenwood.


One major way to install Android Car Stereo is to download the Android Auto app to a mobile device. Once the app is downloaded, the “Android Auto” logo is displayed on your screen, alongside apps that are Android Auto compatible.

Thereafter, the Android Auto is loaded with five buttons visible at the bottom of your mobile device’s screen. These buttons are Google Maps, Phone, Home, Music, and Other. One of the most common ways Android Auto is deployed is to run the Android Auto app on an Android mobile device. The mobile device serves as a controller to a vehicle’s dashboard head unit that supports its functionality.

Ideally, Android auto functions in a car built in the dash or an after-market stereo. Also, the Android mobile device should be running on at least a Lollipop version 5.0. Android auto will not work on IOS; Apple’s Carplay will.

On the other hand, if you are a gamer, you can connect your console to your Android smartphone or android car stereo. In that case, it may be helpful to learn ways to make money playing video games.

Top Manufacturers

As stated above, various after-market stereos enable Android Auto to function. Various firms manufacture these after-market stereos. These firms’ designs Android Auto head units with Google automotive Operating System (OS) to fit various cars. Some of the top manufacturers of Android Auto head units are Pioneer, Alpine, Kenwood, JVC, and Sony.

The Android Auto head units come with different features: satellite radio, HD Radio, USB port inputs, CD and DVD players, pre-amps, built-in GPS navigation, Bluetooth connectivity, and wireless Android Auto connectivity.

Other features include gauges for engine performance and the option to add a backup camera.

Types of Android Car Stereo

There are two major types of Android Car Stereos. These are Single DIN size Car Stereos and Double DIN size Car Stereos. DIN size refers to the size of the stereo’s chassis.

Single-DIN stereos are two inches tall and eight inches wide, while Double DIN stereos are four inches tall and eight inches wide. The major difference between a Single DIN stereo and a Double DIN stereo is that the latter.

 Allows more room for control and is easier to use. Also, Double DIN stereos are usually touchscreen, although Single DIN size stereos with touchscreens.

Some of the advantages of touchscreen stereos are:

  • Easier operation and a big colorful display.
  • Better phone integration, especially those stereos compatible with Android Auto.
  • Onscreen GPS navigation may be built-in or via a mobile device.
  • Compatibility with a rear-view camera

The Pioneer AVH-W4500NEX is widely regarded as one of the best Double DIN size auto head units because of its amazing features. Some of which are:

  • It has an option for a wired or wireless Android Auto connection.
  • It has HDMI and Bluetooth phone and audio streaming.
  • It has a CD and DVD drive, HD radio, FLAC support, and satellite radio.

Alpine’s Halo9 iLX-F309 features make it one of the most desirable Single DIN size auto head units. Some of its features are:

  • It has a built-in Android Auto, which ensures that Google Maps, text messages, phone calls, and weather functionality are prompted with just a voice command.
  • It has a rear USB input, aux input, HDMI input, and Bluetooth.
  • An adjustable height and angle alongside a 9-inch floating display screen.

Advantages of Android Car Stereo

Android Car Stereos allows Android phone users to access certain phone features, either through an infotainment system or through their phone interface.

A major way to enable the Android Car Stereo’s function is to integrate Google Now to suggest actions for a driver to take and help control notifications from the phone without necessarily taking your eye off the road. This functionality is controlled by a user’s voice which reduces the risk of distraction while driving.

For instance, a user can command the Android Car Stereo to play a particular song, and it will, even though he did not press any button/icon on his phone or car. This is achieved when the voice command is prompted via the microphone icon on your phone. This process allows the user to have full physical concentration while driving, although the same cannot be psychologically said.

Other advantages of an Android Car Stereo are:

  • Bluetooth usability
  • GPS Navigation
  • Calling
  • YouTube Accessibility
  • Browsing

Besides, if you are a football fan, you can easily download the best football apps on your Android Car Stereo and enjoy match highlights, previews, reviews, or even watch Football matches live.

 Criticism of Android Car Stereo

Arguments for Android Car Stereo’s use are that users can enable their Car Stereos with a voice command while maintaining physical concentration. However, it isn’t easy to remain concentrated psychologically. The loss of concentration psychologically puts the user at potential risk of an accident.

Also, Italy’s lawsuit in 2019 aimed at Android Auto, alleging an infringement by Google via its policy of only allowing third-party media and messaging apps on the platform. Italy alleges that the policy prevented Enel from offering an app for locating vehicles and charging stations.


It would be unfair to have iOS users enjoy the luxury of a Car Stereo. In contrast, android users remain in the “dark-age” of having to manually play music, respond or send messages, and run navigation while at the steering. Therefore, the advent of Google’s Android Car Stereo gives Android users the same opportunity available to iOS users.

Notwithstanding, the loss of psychological concentration in activating the various functionalities available using Android Car Stereo poses a threat to human life. Therefore adequate measures must be put in place to ensure that this threat does not become a reality.

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