With Android Auto, Motorola has solved a major problem

With Android Auto, Motorola has solved a major problem

There’s a better way, of course: Google announced wireless Android Auto back in April 2018, a way to bypass the cable and connect directly. But doing so requires more bandwidth than the lowly trickle that is Bluetooth – it requires Wi-Fi speeds. And cars have been slow to adopt it. Visit the Android Auto website and Google simply says that “an increasing number of makes and models of vehicles and phones support wireless connections to Android Auto.”

Rather than wait for automakers to unveil the technology, a handful of Kickstarter projects have launched similar dongles over the past few years, and smaller makers have released products, such as the Carsifi dongle. You can install a third-party head unit in your car as well, such as the Kenwood Excelon DMX905S. Motorola is the first major brand to release such a product, however.

Available January 28 for $89.95, the dongle looks like your average USB-connected Oreo: a disc with a tail, in other words. (The box also includes a “Jel Pad” to secure the dongle in your car.) Leave it plugged into your car and you’ll link up seamlessly every time you step foot in the vehicle. That’s because Motorola’s MA1 supports fast, 5GHz Wi-Fi connections to pump all the data from your phone right over to your car’s console. Super!

Story Highlights

  • When you get into a car with a contemporary phone, you can immediately attach it to play music, answer calls over Bluetooth, and more. When you get into a car with an Android Auto-compatible phone, you can do a lot more… once you pull out the USB wire from the glovebox, connect the phone, and press a few buttons on the car’s system.

  • That’s why Motorola and its hardware partner SGW Global announced the Motorola MA1 at CES 2022. This wireless dongle makes it simple to connect and share location data, media, messaging, and more. The Motorola MA1 enables wireless Android Auto connections, thanks to built in Wi-Fi connectivity. “Motorola strives to simplify our customers’ lives through innovative technology that seamlessly integrates into everyday life,“ said Dave Carroll, Executive Director Strategic Brand Partnerships at Motorola. “The Motorola MA1 eliminates the need to plug your phone into your car’s infotainment system every time you get in your car, allowing for easy access to your favorite navigation apps.”