How to Update Android Auto

Want the latest version of Android Auto? You may need to force the issue

What to Know

  • You can update Android Auto manually via the Google Play Store app.
  • You may need to change a setting in Android Auto to force an update.
  • If Android Auto won’t update, there may be an issue with your phone or version of Android.

This article explains how to update Android Auto, how to force an Android Auto update, and what to do if your Android Auto won't update.

How to Update Android Auto

Under normal circumstances, Android apps are updated automatically without the need for manual intervention. That means Android Auto should update itself whenever an update is available. You may receive a notification or a request for permission depending on your settings. You may also need to connect to the internet via a strong Wi-Fi connection to download updates depending on your update settings.

If your Android device isn’t set up for automatic downloads, then you’ll have to download and install the update manually. Here’s how to update Android Auto manually:

  1. Open the Google Play Store app, tap the search field and type Android Auto.

  2. Tap Android Auto in the search results.

  3. Tap Update.

    Steps to update Android Auto.

    If the button says Open, that means there is no update available.

How to Force An Android Auto Update

In some cases, Google will push an optional Android Auto update ahead of a wider release. When this happens, you won’t receive the update right away or automatically unless you have opted in to beta releases.

If you’ve heard about a new Android Auto update your phone doesn’t have yet, and you're lacking features like Android Auto Wireless, try connecting it to your car. If you normally use Android Auto in conjunction with a compatible vehicle instead of just the standalone app on your phone, connecting to your vehicle will usually result in a prompt to switch to the newer version if one is available.

In the event you don’t receive a prompt to update upon connecting to your vehicle, or if you just use the standalone Android Auto app on your device without a vehicle connection, there may be an option in the app settings to force an update. To check for this setting and activate it, follow these steps:

  1. Launch the Android Auto app on your device, and tap the menu icon (three horizontal lines) in the upper left corner of the app.

  2. Tap Settings.

  3. Look for an entry like Try the new Android Auto in the General section, and tap the button to opt in.

    Steps to force an Android Auto update.

    This option only appears when there is a new or beta version of Android Auto that hasn't been rolled out to everyone yet. If you don't see this option, you may have an outdated version of Android Auto or Android that can't receive the update, or there may be no update available.

What if Android Auto Still Won’t Update?

If you still can’t get Android Auto to update after following these instructions, there are a few potential explanations. The most obvious is Android Auto is already up to date. If you’ve heard somewhere there’s an update, go back to that source and check for the Android Auto version the source is talking about. You can then compare that to your version number to find out if you’re actually up to date.

Once you’ve found out the version number of the update, you’ll need to go through the steps in the previous section again, but stop after step three. Scroll all the way to the bottom of the Settings screen, and look for the Version section. Compare that number to the number of the update you’re looking for. If the numbers match, you already have the update. If your number is higher, your version is actually more up to date than the one you read about.

If your version number is lower than the version number of the update you’re looking for, then there’s something wrong. Try updating Android on your device, and then try to update Android Auto again. If Android is out of date, it may prevent you from getting the latest app updates.

If Android is up to date, or you’re stuck on an older version of Android, then there may be a compatibility issue between your device and the latest version of Android Auto. Android Auto won’t run at all if your phone is running Android 5.0 or earlier, and there may be other compatibility issues with older devices. Contact your phone manufacturer or carrier for more information.

How to Update Android Auto On a Car Stereo

Some vehicles come with Android Auto built right into the stereo or infotainment system. This may just enable compatibility with Android Auto on your phone, or it may be a more integrated experience depending on the make, model, and year of the vehicle. Some of these systems aren’t designed to be updated, while others can receive limited updates either over the air (OTA), by connecting a phone, or manually.

If your vehicle has Android Auto built in, but it’s lacking features, you may or may not be able to update it. Try updating the app on your phone using the instructions found in this article, and then connect your phone to your vehicle with a USB cable. That may prompt an update.

If that doesn’t work, your vehicle may require an internet connection to update. You may be able to provide by connecting your phone to the vehicle with a USB cable while the phone is connected to a strong Wi-Fi connection or cellular data connection.

In the event that doesn’t work either, you will need to contact a local dealership and inquire about updates. If there is actually an update available for your vehicle, they will be able to help you. You will most likely need to take the vehicle to the dealership for a technician to install the update, and there may be a fee involved.

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