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Motorola MA1 dongle helps Android Auto cars ditch the wires

Motorola has revealed a handy USB dongle that’ll add wireless capabilities to Android Auto compatible cars.

Android Auto (and Apple CarPlay for that matter) has done wonders in terms of bringing our phones’ most useful features to the dashboard. However, on most vehicles it still requires you to tether your phone with a USB cable.

Indeed, only newer vehicles support wireless Android Auto; and it’s not like we’re into upgrading our car as often as we do our phones.

The new Motorola MA1, which costs $90 and looks to be US-exclusive at present, helps you dispense with the direct wired connection between your phone and car. It uses 5GHz Wi-Fi connection and licenses tech directly from Google to join all the dots.

As thus, drivers will be able to get into their car and automatically connect to Android Auto and see their maps, streaming and messaging apps on the centre display. All you’ll need to do is plug the adapter into the Android Auto-enabled USB port, pair it with your phone with Bluetooth and then enjoy seamless connection.

The launch comes as Google itself announced some improvements to wireless Android Auto at CES 2022. The company’s Fast Pair tech will now make it possible to connect your phone to the infotainment system with just a single tap on supposed Ford and BMW vehicles.

Google also announced it is partnering with ride-sharing firms like Lyft and Kakeo Mobility, enabling drivers to view their schedules and accept rides directly from Android.

Meanwhile the Google Assistant is also going to enable you to get the car prepped for your journey, while you’re still in the home.

“With remote actions, you will soon be able to ask Google for help even before leaving the front door,” Google says in a blog post. “Ask Google to warm up or cool down your car, lock and unlock it and check on the status of things like your battery charge, all from the comfort of your own home with the help of any Google Assistant-enabled device. This is coming first to select Volvo Cars, with more to follow.”

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