Android Auto's Wireless mode was rumored for months before we got official confirmation of it. JVC and Kenwood introduced a total of 7 Auto head units with Wi-Fi connectivity as an option at this year's CES, but until now even if you just got one of these new units, you couldn't use the mode as your phone wasn't ready for that. Now Google has flipped the switch: wireless mode for Android Auto is enabled on Nexus and Pixel devices.

According to Cody's teardowns, version 3.0 of Auto was nearly ready for the Wireless mode, but it's v3.1 that's required (APK Mirror link) to get things properly working. You obviously also need a compatible head unit and you will have to connect to it over USB at least once to establish a link with your phone. After that, the wireless mode should work.

What you need for Android Auto on your car display (wireless)

  1. A car or aftermarket receiver that is compatible with Android Auto Wireless.
  2. A Pixel or Nexus phone with Android 8.0 ("Oreo") or higher as follows:
    • Pixel or Pixel XL
    • Pixel 2 or Pixel 2 XL
    • Nexus 5X or 6P
  3. The Android Auto app version 3.1 and up.
  4. A high-quality USB cable for initial setup.

If you don't have a Nexus or Pixel device, don't lose hope but I wouldn't count on a quick solution. Auto team member Lawrence says that, "For non-Google devices, we are actively working with phone manufacturers on adding software compatibility and hope to share more updates soon." This feels like another ARCore situation to me.