Everything you need to know about using Android Auto ahead of the Ignis launch

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Have you ever tried to sync your phone with your car’s music player via Bluetooth and thought to yourself – what wicked sorcery is this? If yes, then congratulations – you’re a Grandma. And it’s only going to get worse, because newer cars like the Maruti Suzuki Ignis will be associated with more millennial witchcraft like Android Auto, Apple CarPlay and Electronic Dance ‘Music’. Thankfully, we at MotorScribes understand what it’s like to be a Grandma. We’ve put together a handy, step-by-step guide to using Android Auto on the magic window in your car – also called the touchscreen infotainment system.

Step 1: Download Android Auto on your smartphone

This is simple. Just type in ‘Android Auto’ download into Google search field on your phone. The first result will take you to the GooglePlay Store – which is like a virtual candy shop. But for apps, and not candy. Click the ‘Install’ button on your phone screen. Once it’s downloaded, the app icon will manifest in the form of a tiny white paper airplane plonked on top of a slightly bigger blue paper airplane. Got it?

Android Auto icon
Time is a flat circle. The Android Auto icon is two flat triangles



Step 2: Connect your phone to your car’s infotainment system with a USB cable

Remember, the smaller end of the cable goes inside the charging port of your phone.


Step 3: Watch magical things happen on the multimedia screen of your car – for a moment

As soon as the multimedia system of your car is synced with Android app, the screen displays the home page of the software. This is usually a random tip like the one below and the last song you played on Google Music. Now, don’t panic when you see this. Just press ‘Got it’ on the screen and move on. Breathe.

Android Auto Interface
Press ‘Got it’ and move on with your life



Step 4: Observe some more magic

The next page on the screen will display the locations you frequent. Yes, it’s slightly creepy and unsettling but again… breathe. This data has been drawn from Google Maps and GPS locations in your phone. Remember, Google knows of all the places you’ve been and the places you’ll go. Which is precisely why I go to the gym. Because when I miss gym, Google knows.

Android Auto home screen with music and maps
This page too will display your Google Music history. You will notice that contrary to popular belief, the last song I played was NOT Hit Me Baby One More Time


How it all works

Android Auto is aimed at helping you keep your hands on the steering wheel at all times – which is a great thing to do if you’re driving. If you’re not driving the car, it would bode you well to keep your hands OFF the steering wheel. In order to allow the driver to concentrate on the road ahead, most of the functions are voice activated or at most, operated by just pressing a button or two on the screen. Scroll down further to know how the basic functions of the app can be carried out.


How to get to places using Android Auto

If you’re driving and you need directions to a destination – which is primarily what Android Auto is for – just press right-angled arrow button on the bottom of the screen and then the microphone icon on the top right hand corner. After you hear the slight beep, say the name of the destination clearly and deliberately. Remember to pronounce the name correctly. This, we understand, will be harder to do for students of Wadia college. It’s vaa-dee-yaa’, not ‘vau de ja’.

How to navigate using Android Auto
The familiar Google Maps navigation screen appears when you enter the destination


One the destination is correctly entered in, the page displayed will be the familiar Google Maps interface. Follow the route along the bright blue line. The stretches marked in yellow and red indicate traffic congestion.



How to make phone calls using Android Auto

Next to the right-angled arrow button for navigation is a tiny phone icon. If you were born before 1995, it’s the curved dumbbell icon – that’s what landline or non-cellular phones looked like earlier. As soon as your press it, it displays your contacts in large, readable font. As with the navigation function, you can enter the contact you want to dial via the microphone. Karen, if you are reading this, yes that’s your name saved as Kaen1 on my phone. K-A-R-E-N is too hard to spell correctly.

Voice calls using Android Auto
Your contacts are displayed in this large, readable font on the screen of your car


If you press the three-bar button on the top left corner, you can access your call history and voicemail or dial a new number not saved on your contact list.

Android Auto phone call interface
Android Auto allows you to dial in new numbers or access your call history too



How to play music using Android Auto

This last function is your only way to deny to the world that you’re in fact a Grandma. Press the headphone-shaped icon in order to access your personal music library saved on Google Play music, If you’re travelling with company, it would serve you well to customise your playlist so that stuff like THIS below doesn’t pop up on your multimedia screen.

How to play music using Android Auto
Edit your playlist before you sync your phone with your car using Android Auto to avoid THIS catastrophe


The three-bar button on the top left corner will direct you to the playlists and automatically generated mixes.

Android Auto interface in your car
The options for playing music on Android Auto are similar to Google Play Music


How to exit Android Auto

To exit Android Auto, press the circular icon on the bottom left corner. Ignore the passive-aggressive exit message that appears when you do that. Just press ‘exit’ and proceed with your life, as usual.

Android Auto exit page
“Oh, you wanna leave? You’re on your own, then. OK. Fine. Just fine.”


Android Auto also alerts you of messages received while on the go. These notifications can be deactivated by disabling the function in the settings menu.