Car Tech's guide to using your Android phone in the car - Roadshow Car Tech's guide to using your Android phone in the car - Roadshow

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CNET has you covered. You've got your apps for streaming music and podcasts from the Web, apps for picking a place to eat or finding the lowest fuel prices around, and your hands-free calls of course.

Connect to Bluetooth Device

As a CNET reader with a healthy addiction to technology, you likely already know why a phone and the apps it's powered by can be useful in the car. The analog auxiliary input For drivers of older cars or vehicles with more basic car stereos, the humble analog auxiliary audio input 3.

More often than not, A2DP-connected stereos will also display artist and title data for the currently playing song and almost always include shortcuts either onscreen or accessible by steering-wheel buttons for Play, Pause, and Skip.

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You'll connect to this simple audio connection with an audio patch cable that plugs into your phone's headphone jack. The auxiliary input's simplicity makes it the easiest to set up and, possibly, the most future-proof of phone-to-car connection methods.

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However, this connection is a dumb input, lacking bidirectional communication, so there's no way to control your phone with the car's stereo. If you want to, for example, change songs, then you'll need to interact with your Android phone, which can be less than ideal in a driving situation.

This is especially true if you're already making the Bluetooth wireless connection for the Hands-free Profile HFP for voice calls -- using A2DP kills two birds with one stone.

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You're in charge of why you'd want to use your Android phone in the car. The tricky part is figuring out how to do it and how to do it safely. Or, because phones are such personal devices, your handset may bring only a few of these things to your driving experience.

Bluetooth For most of the Android operating system's lifetime, Bluetooth's Advanced Audio Distribution Profile A2DP has easily been your best bet for piping audio from an Android phone through the speakers of most newer-model vehicles.

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This article has been updated to reflect further information about Android Auto. Bluetooth A2DP will send any audio that your phone outputs wirelessly, including turn-by-turn directions, if you happen to be navigating.

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Your phone is a hub for your audio and entertainment, GPS navigation, and communications with your friends, family, and social circles. Car Tech's guide to using your Android phone in the car Looking for tips on safely using your Android phone with your car's stereo?