The wireless version of Android Auto was announced nearly two years ago, but this doesn’t necessarily mean that carmakers rushed to adopt it.
In fact, only a handful of companies actually brought the wireless connectivity option to their vehicles, as most of them decided to stick with the wired sibling for whatever reason (which I actually think is strongly related to the actual cost of a head unit supporting wireless AA).
However, it looks like Ford wants to be one of the first getting rid of wires, so several unnamed 2020 models will come by default with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.
In a press release rolled out this week, Ford says SYNC 4 will support wireless connections with Android devices and iPhones, with a bunch of extra features that include wireless charging.
“Customers will continue to be able to use both Bluetooth and Wi-Fi to enable simultaneous operation of in-vehicle entertainment and mobile device navigation while providing calls, music, and other features to be controlled through the vehicle’s display. Available wireless charging capability also means you can juice up your compatible smartphone even while leaving the cords at home,” Ford says.
Google’s commitment to AA
And while more carmarkers seem to be ready to bring wireless AA to their cars, the only thing that’s left is for Google to really care about its in-car platform.
The Mountain View-based company rolled out a major facelift of Android Auto earlier this year, but since then, the experience with this product has been a crazy roller coaster ride. The last update, for example, is causing big issues with navigation apps, including here Google Maps and Waze, which not only that crash and restart occasionally, but also fail to provide accurate GPS tracking.
In the meantime, Google is probably focusing more on Android Automotive, the new operating system that’s specifically built for vehicle dashboards. As compared to AA, which relies on a phone as the powering device, Android Automotive runs full Android inside a car without requiring a companion mobile device.