Google throws in another great feature for users of Pixel or Nexus smartphones on Android Oreo. The company has now enabled Android Auto wireless for compatible vehicles.
The new feature, enabled just this week, now allows users to automatically launch the companion program once they enter their ride. However, a big caveat comes with this exciting update. While it supports a plenty of smartphone models, the required head unit carries the function is still very limited.
As confirmed by the announcement, the Android handsets that will get this new feature are limited to a few Nexus models and all of the available Pixel models. It means that the Pixel, Pixel XL, Pixel 2, Pixel 2 XL, Nexus 5X, and Nexus 6P are all on the list, but the number of compatible head units is still quite a few.
Sources confirmed that products from Kenwood and JVC are the only ones that are compatible with the update for now. Apparently, these were showcased at the 2018 CES earlier this year.
More On the Way
Due to the current limitations of compatible head units for vehicles, the activation of Android Auto wireless for Pixel and Nexus smartphones does not seem so useful at the moment. In comparison to Apple's version, which is being adopted by more automakers, Google still has a long way to go to get its platform up and running on more cars. As it stands, there are just seven available models from Kenwood and JVC sporting the connectivity option.
Moreover, users believe that another buzzkill is the lack of wireless charging support for its Pixel lineup of handsets. It means that all six of the enabled smartphones cannot natively wirelessly charge. Even though there are third-party accessories that can enable the feature, most users presumably find it bothersome to justify its purchase.
It seems ironic that the search company wants to push for automatic wireless connectivity with the listed Android smartphones and the latest vehicle head units, but failed to consider that wireless charging would make everything even more convenient.
Freedom From Wires
Now that Google has made its move to enable the Android Auto wireless on its supported smartphones, the development team confirmed that other manufacturers have plans to support it on future updates. Therefore, it might work on handsets other than the Nexus and Pixel models.
However, industry insiders suggest that the company should also work on the wireless charging capabilities of its next flagship devices.