How to use Android Auto on your mobile instead of the Google Assistant driving mode

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how to use android auto on your mobile instead of.jpg
how to use android auto on your mobile instead of.jpg

Google has decided to end one of the tools that worked best in the conjunction of mobile + car: the Android Auto of the phone disappears in favor of the driving mode of Android Assistant. This is a change that not only varies the interface, but also restricts options that are on the way to extinction. Of course, there are still ways to continue using Android Auto on mobile.

Operating systems and their interfaces were never clear to Google, not for nothing has diversified both the software of its devices and the devices themselves. Android for mobiles, variations for tablets, an Android for watches called Wear OS, Android TV, now on Nest devices it includes Fuchsia OS … Normal that the concept of Android Auto also changes. Worse.

Headunit Reloaded returns Android Auto to your mobile

Android Auto Headunit Reloaded

Above, Google Assistant driving mode; below, Android Auto with Headunit Reloaded (Google Pixel 6)

Before continuing, we must clarify the concepts. Android Auto is a system that is projected on the vehicle screen from an Android mobile. In addition, Google also allowed to turn the phone into an Android Auto screen in order to use this system in the car without the need for the vehicle to include it. With Android 12 the second disappears to become the driving mode of Google Assistant.

The aforementioned driving mode avoids risks at the wheel since it simplifies the interface and centralizes the orders in Google Assistant. Even so, it is still a way to visualize GPS navigation since does not allow use of the rest of the phone as does Android Auto. Therefore, for those who were used to said Android Auto on the phone, the fact that Google has imposed the assistant’s driving mode means eliminating at a stroke a more complete and simple way to combine mobile and car.

Although there is no way to restore the old Android Auto once Google has removed it (with the update to Android 12), yes there is a way to use the old interface without depending on Google: Headunit Reloaded. This application literally starts the car’s Android Auto on the mobile screen.

Headunit Reloaded Trial for Android Auto

Headunit Reloaded Trial for Android Auto

  • Developer: Emil Borconi-Szedressy
  • Download it at: Google play
  • Price: Free
  • Category: Maps and navigation

Headunit Reloaded Emulator for Android Auto

Headunit Reloaded Emulator for Android Auto

  • Developer: B3IT (Borconi Emil IT)
  • Download it at: Google play
  • Price: 4.89 euros
  • Category: Maps and navigation

Headunit Reloaded is a paid app that also offers a free version, although only as a ten-minute trial. If you are interested in recovering the Android Auto from your phone, our recommendation is that you try the app and, if it is useful, buy it: it works really well and is well worth it.

You already have the app installed, now let’s see how to start Android Auto on your mobile.

  • Open Android Auto on your mobile. The easiest way to find it is to go into the phone’s settings and type “Android Auto”. Click on the result with that name.
  • Once in the Android Auto menu, scroll down to the version number. Press several times and accept activation of developer settings.
Android Auto Head Unit
  • When you have the Android Auto developer settings active, click on the top three menu points and choose “Start main unit server“.
  • Open Headunit Reloaded and accept the necessary permissions for it to work.
  • Once on the main screen, click on the “Self Mode” option. The Android Auto system will start on your phone.
Android Auto Headunit Reloaded

When Android Auto Car is running on the screen of your phone you just have to use it as you used it before, when the Google Assistant driving mode was not active. You can navigate using GPS, listen to music, call the phone with your voice and have Assistant read your messages, for example. All avoiding distractions since you just have to talk to the phone.

Headunit Reloaded projects the Android Auto car onto your phone: the screen adapts to the vehicle interface minimizing distractions and offering voice control

The most recommended is have the mobile horizontally before starting Android Auto with “Self Mode”. In addition, you can change the screen resolution, and its density, from the Headunit Reloaded settings: adjust the settings until Android Auto runs correctly on your phone screen.