If your car radio is Android, you can turn it into Android Auto with this app

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if your car radio is android you can turn it.jpg
if your car radio is android you can turn it.jpg

To have Android Auto in the car, the most common thing is to buy a vehicle that is compatible with this system, although there is another way to achieve its benefits: build a car radio with Android Auto. What is the price for you? No problem: if you have a “normal” Android car radio, and you have access to the Play Store, there is an app that brings Android Auto to your vehicle.

Connecting the mobile to the car is great for answering calls hands-free and listening to them through the vehicle’s speakers. And, if it has a system adapted to the smartphone, mobile apps can be used in the car console, with the enormous advantages that this entails. In general, options such as Android Auto tend to make the car or car radio more expensive. That you do not want to spend so much? There are models with “generic” Android that will not only work for you.

Headunit Reloaded turns your Android car radio into Android Auto

Android Auto Screenshot

Android Auto emulated with Headunit Reloaded

Android car radios offer functions similar to those included in Android Auto, although without the limitations imposed by this system: in general, enable the installation of any software, is allowed by Google in vehicles as it is not. Of course, the interface of a “normal” radio is not usually as safe or as useful as that of Auto.

The difference between purchasing an Android car radio and one that already includes Android Auto as standard is a price difference that is usually around 200 euros. And there is an android app capable of turning any device with this system into a functional Android Auto (whether or not a car radio). Its name is Headunit Reloaded, a small marvel that we won’t tire of recommending.

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
  • Category: Maps and navigation

There are two versions of Headunit Reloaded: a free one, which serves as a trial, and a paid version for 4.89 euros. Ideally, install the free one first to make sure it works properly in your car. If that’s the case, the paid version will surely meet your needs, whether you want to use Android Auto wired or wireless.

You need to install the Headunit Reloaded app on your Android radio. Once you have it, the pairing process begins:

  • 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 the activation of developer settings.
Android Auto Head Unit

  • When you have the Android Auto developer settings active, click on the three upper menu points and choose “Start head unit server“.
  • Activate the option to share the Internet on your mobile.
  • Search for the Wi-Fi network of your phone’s hotspot from the radio and connect to it. Make sure you don’t have too many applications to update, they can consume all your data (using Android Auto shouldn’t overspend).
  • Open Headunit Reloaded on the radio and accept the necessary permissions for it to work.
  • Click on the WiFi icon and you will see that the Android Auto home screen jumps on the mobile.
  • Configure Android Auto and you will have its screen on the car radio. You can use it as if the system were integrated into your vehicle: its operation is identical.
Radio Android Auto

when you get out of the car you must remember to turn off the hotspot on your mobile and stop the server on Android Auto. And after uploading, repeat the process: share the Internet, connect the radio to the mobile, open Headunit Reloaded and click on the WiFi icon.

Headunit Reloaded converts a “normal” Android radio into Android Auto, although it also does the same with a mobile or tablet

Apart from WiFi, you can also connect the mobile to the radio by USB cable. Skip the hotspot step and start the Android Auto server, connect both devices via USB cable and start navigation by clicking on the respective Headunit Reloaded icon. The result should be the same.