If you are asking “can you Mirrorlink to Android Auto?”, first it might be better to have a quick look at the types of systems available. There are multiple possible ways to connect your smartphone with your car’s built-in infotainment system.
Choosing the right one might be down to personal preference, to the operating system of your smartphone or even your car. You may have heard of the Apple CarPlay app and the Android Auto app, but what about Mirrorlink on your head unit car screen?
Imagine the difference between what you see in your Android smartphone display now and your phone screen 10 years ago. The evolution in the interface, speed, and capabilities is simply mind-blowing. Now imagine your car’s built-in entertainment system in your last car. It was exciting to have a car manufacturer including a USB port on your car stereo just a few years ago!
Now, look at the technology in vehicles today: we’re now dealing with smartphone integration on your infotainment screen. The main difference is that you typically upgrade your phone every few years. The infotainment system you have in your vehicle today will likely be with you for years to come, contrary to your
Apple Carplay and Android Auto are admittedly more popular. The tech giants have the ability to promote their auto apps and software in ways that the Mirrorlink app can’t. It was Mirrorlink that first made it to the market as a system that would allow you to share your smartphone’s content with your vehicle’s car display.
We will leave Carplay to one side as our focus will be on the Android device, which released its app for car connectivity in 2015. 5 years before, a research project led to the Terminal Mode concept. Various car makers had been looking into ways to safely use smartphones while driving.
Nokia and CE4A were leading and so joined forces. From here, more manufacturers came on board and the Car Connectivity Consortium was created. Terminal Mode was renamed Mirrorlink and is owned by the Car Connectivity Consortium.
Let’s continue by taking a closer look at Android Auto and Mirrorlink.
What can I do with Android Auto?
The Android Auto Infotainment system is an app that has been created to allow you to use your smartphone through your car’s screen. With the app, you can:
- Connect to Google Maps or Waze for real-time navigation app alerts;
- Listen to your favorite music through Spotify on your car’s speaker;
- Answer calls and reply to messages from popular apps like WhatsApp and Skype;
- Use Google Assistant to control everything with voice command;
- Catch up on the latest news and weather reports.
You will be able to do everything you would usually do with your device but on a car’s infotainment screen and handsfree. You can control the app with your voice, using the steering wheel buttons to adjust the volume or skip songs. Mirror screen Android Auto function is very convenient and improves driving safety while using your mobile phone.
How can I get Android Auto?
You will need to download the app from Google PlayStore. For those with Android 10.0 or higher, it is already on your phone. Before you download the app, it is worth checking the compatibility of your mobile and car here.
Once the download is complete, you will need to connect your Android phone to your car’s system. This can be done either via USB or wirelessly. For a wireless connection, you will be more limited with compatibility.
It’s similar, but with one very big advantage. Mirrorlink is open source, which means that developers can adapt the software to their individual needs. You need to connect your smartphone with your car’s system via USB to share data.
The apps that you have on your Android phone appear on the car’s dashboard display as large icons. Everything you would hear through your phone can be heard through the car’s audio system.
Once you have synced the data, you can either use Mirrorlink through the USB cable or via Bluetooth. Once connected to your car, you can’t use your mobile, preventing dangerous driving habits. On top of this, the interface is a simplified version of your smartphone’s interface, so it’s even easier to use.
You can use several popular apps through your car’s interface such as Facebook, Twitter, Google Maps, and Spotify. Besides, you can read and answer messages through voice recognition. There are also radio and weather apps and our top pick is an app that lets your send your GSP location to others so they can track your route: Glympse.
You can use this system with any car or mobile that is Mirrorlink enabled. You will find the option in the connectivity section of your settings (for both cars and phones). If you already have an integration system, you will need to choose Mirrorlink in your settings.
The great news is that because of the collaboration on Mirrorlink, it is compatible with more cars and phones than any other system.
Mobile and Auto manufacturers that are part of the Car Connectivity Consortium include:
The Mirrorlink website will allow you to check the make and model compatibility.
Android Auto vs MirrorLink
The concept of both is very similar. If you want to know whether Mirrorlink or Android Auto is the best choice for you, it will come down to two things: apps and safety.
Mirrorlink has a good range of compatible apps but will only display those that are deemed “user-friendly” while driving. It is much easier to use because of the large icons, so it focuses on beauty over aesthetics. On the contrary, Android Auto has more apps to use but isn’t as simple to use.
Both are free so the first step is to check compatibility before deciding on the better option.
Why choose between Mirrorlink vs Android Auto when you can use both? As long as your device and vehicle are compatible, you can download Android Auto and Mirrorlink and use both with your car’s system.
To answer the original question, “can you Mirrorlink to Android?” we’ve got to say yes. But you need to decide whether it is necessary or if it really offers an advantage for you.
It is more than likely that Mirrorlink will have all of the solutions you need and it is more likely that your device and vehicle are compatible. It would be wise to Mirrorlink Android Auto when one solution doesn’t have the particular app you are looking for.
Some other Android Auto articles that may be interesting for you:
- What is Android Auto
- How to install Android Auto in a car
- How to play videos with Android Auto
- Watching Netflix in Android Auto
- Adding apps to Android Auto
- Android Auto phone list
- Setting up Android Auto home screen
- Android Auto – Do I need a data plan?
- Android Auto in VW Golf
- Android Auto in BMW models