Android Auto – Connect your phone to your car display – in this day and age almost feels like a given, but alas! Android Auto has been the missing puzzle piece in our car life journey since the get-go. We have never had a car that supports our phone apps. It has been most frustrating! 😉
When we got the Tesla Model 3 back in December 2020 as much as we liked the clean Tesla interface it was missing the most important ingredients, a few apps such as the YouTube Music app, Google Maps and Google Assistant. Those are the three apps we use the most on our Android phones.
Spotify is rubbish – YouTube Music is the best.
Tesla has Spotify, which is utter rubbish. All our music playlists are on Youtube Music, which if we wanted to listen to them meant we would have to use Bluetooth from the phone. It wasn’t a major problem, but there was no interaction with that lovely touch screen in the car.
Likewise, the Tesla Maps is based on Google Maps, but it lacks some of the great features on Google Maps such as speed trap awareness, avoid motorways and alternative routes. The latter only appears if one deviates from the original route it offers. However, one thing that Tesla Maps does well is finding superchargers because it is built into the maps. It also works out your journeys total battery distance and tells you if you’ll need to stop at a supercharger.
Look, the niggles above have never been a game-changer, but it was a little annoying that a car so technically advanced didn’t support Android properly.
TeslAA app – Android Auto over Tesla Browser prerequisites.
Anyway, that has all changed because I saw a post on Electrek talking about an app called TeslAA – Android Auto over Tesla Browser, that detailed how to get Android Auto to work on the Tesla Model 3 and of course, I tried it out and the results are kinda cool. It is not perfect but after a bit of fiddling, I got it to work just fine. I hope the developer (AAWireless) makes it better.
- Download and pay for an app from the Google Playstore called TeslAA – Android Auto over Tesla Browser. It is by a developer called AAWireless. The app cost me £4.39.
- On your Android phone, turn on Mobile Hotspot
- On the screen of your Tesla tap on the Wireless icon and select the Mobile Hotspot.
- Open the TeslAA – Android Auto over Tesla Browser app,
- Select your Bluetooth connection.
- Under Options set the DPI. (Mine is set on 200).
- Select your Car Model.
- Select your resolution (1080p, but this is dependant on your phone capabilities).
- Setup VPN is on.
- Grant all permissions when the app asks for permission.
- Open the Tesla web browser and go to http://www.androidwheels.com
- Finally in the app tap on Start sefvice manually.
TeslAA app – Android Auto screenshots.
Customizing TeslAA – Android Auto on Tesla Model 3.
Once the app is running the experience is fantastic and exactly what I expected. All the apps are super quick to load, and I was also able to customize what I wanted to see on the screen by turning on or off the apps through the phone app. One can also change the background look and feel, and set it to automatic dark mode.
Android Auto – Google Maps on Tesla Model 3.
Google Maps work perfectly. I tried it with voice guidance on and off, with no problems.
Satellite view also worked, although the screen refresh wasn’t ideal. DPI can be set in the TeslAA – Android Auto app, as well as resolution (480p, 720p & 1080p). It does say somewhere in the documentation, your mobile specifications will dictate how well the Android Auto works. My mobile is a Samsung Galaxy S20, so a fairly beefy phone. My mobile data at my house though is not that great and the satellite view struggled to load a few times and I had to refresh the browser, and it came right. Once it didn’t come right and the screen went grey, however when I restarted the app it loaded fine.
Android Auto – YouTube Music on Tesla Model 3.
YouTube Music is the best. Being able to play and control my playlists while having access to Google Maps is the cherry on the top. Also, the sound quality coming from Google YouTube Music is way better than Spotify.
Wireless versus Cable.
We have used Android Auto in the past with hired cars and we had to use a USB cable, but in our Tesla Model 3, it works via WIFI or Mobile Hotspot, which in my opinion is much better. It also keeps the car free of cables.
Some things to remember.
There are a few bugs that Tesla owners need to consider. These include the video becoming unresponsive after switching to reverse and Tesla disconnecting from the Wi-Fi hotspot when your phone loses signal for a long time.
So don’t reverse 😀 and stay in a strong mobile signal area 🙂