Due to the deluge of Assistant news at CES 2018, you might have missed that Google was demoing Android Auto between phones and car head units without a cable. Android Auto Wireless went live earlier this week for Pixel and Nexus devices, with non-Google phones coming soon.

According to a Google User Community post yesterday (via Android Police), “wireless was just enabled earlier this week for Pixel and Nexus devices.” A support document details how it requires a compatible Android Auto Wireless car or aftermarket receiver and a Google device:

  • Pixel or Pixel XL
  • Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL
  • Nexus 5X or 6P

Version 3.1 of the app is also needed while initial setup requires a “high-quality USB cable” and manual connection as detailed in another help article from Google. After that first pairing, wireless will work automatically.

This feature will come to non-Google devices, with the company noting:

we are actively working with phone manufacturers on adding software compatibility and hope to share more updates soon.

In our CES demo — which you can watch below — we were quite impressed with how smoothly it all operated:

In the brief demo I was able to check out, Android Auto Wireless worked really well. Connected to a Pixel 2, the head unit had no trouble at all running through Maps, music, and of course the Assistant as well. It was also quite impressive how quickly the phone and head unit were able to connect to get a session going as well.

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About the Author

Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: abner@9to5g.com