VW ID.3 will support wireless Android Auto

For a number of years, you’ve needed to use a cable to when connecting your phone to your car to take advantage of Android Auto – but on the new VW ID.3 there’s going to be support for wireless Android Auto.

It was a function that was enabled by Google early in 2018, but there were very few ways to actually use it. It’s supported by some aftermarket head units, but wireless Android Auto hasn’t exactly rushed into production cars.

While exploring the VW ID.3, VW told us that it was supported through Wireless App Connect, which will allow you to run Android Auto without plugging it in every time. It also supports wireless Apple CarPlay, so iPhone users get the same advantage.

While the VW ID.3 is grabbing headlines for being VW’s first purpose built electric car, it’s not actually the first VW to support Wireless App Connect. That honour goes to the new VW Passat which is currently in the process of launching – which is why we didn’t spot this feature earlier.

Wireless Apple CarPlay has been around for a little longer, with BMW and Mini both supporting the technology. Having used the system in those cars the advantage is obvious: it you’re just jumping in the car for a quick drive somewhere, you can have the phone system fire up, rather than going through the process of connecting the cable and so on.

It is a double-edged sword however. If you’re tempted to keep your phone in your pocket for longer drives, bear in mind that it won’t be getting charged while you drive, so you’ll arrive with a depleted battery. 

Both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay bring a familiar user interface to drivers, with the convenience of having access to media apps on your phone. Updates come into your phone so you’re not dependant on the car manufacturer delivering access to new services, meaning things move a little faster when it comes to new functions and support. 

But with new cars getting increasingly sophisticated, there’s an emphasis on wider support for services and better design. In the case of the ID.3, if using Waze via Android Auto means you don’t get to use the fancy AR Heads-up Display, maybe you’ll think twice about bypassing VW’s system.

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