CORRECTION: Our initial reporting on this article stated that the AAWireless dongle would allow Android Auto functionality on non-Android Auto head units. This was a mistake on our part. The article has been updated to reflect the true functionality of the AAWireless dongle.
These days, carmakers are offering customers smarter infotainment options where users can choose between Apple’s CarPlay or Google’s Android Auto systems that offer wireless connections so that you don’t have to physically connect your smartphone to your vehicle every time you get in. But what if you already own a car or head unit with Android Auto? Obviously it doesn’t make sense to buy a new car to purchase an after-market unit just so that you can get rid of a cable
This is a dongle that users can easily attach to their cars and will give their cars wireless Android Auto capabilities not only on a budget but also taking away the complications of installing a new system.
Assuming you already have an older head unit with Android Auto functionality, all you need to do is plug the dongle to your car’s USB port and you’re good to go. The AAWireless dongle can take up to 40 seconds for it to connect with your car, meaning that it won’t be as seamless as a more integrated system, but not having to pull your phone out of your pocket, fish around for the cable and then plug it in will be extremely convenient.
The developers cannot guarantee that it will be compatible with all head units, but they’re testing it out with as many cars as possible. These issues and potential obstacles may keep some buyers at bay, but the AAWireless dongle’s $55 price tag is significantly cheaper than buying a new infotainment system.
AAWireless has already raised more than $250,000 on Indiegogo, exceeding its initial funding target. There’s no word yet on when the final AAWirelss dongle is expected to ship, but we wouldn’t be surprised if you had to wait another 9-12 months for it to show up.