About Time: Toyota Finally Decides To Add Android Auto To Its Cars

After refusing to do so for some time, Toyota has apparently decided to add Android Auto connectivity to its vehicles.

A person familiar with the matter told Bloomberg that Toyota has finally put aside its safety and security concerns with Android Auto. Consequently, Android users will soon be able to connect their devices in new Toyotas, well after the automaker rolled out support for Apple CarPlay in January.

A company spokesperson said the automaker is aware of demand for Android Auto and that the company was considering implementing the technology. However, they declined to comment beyond that. Google has also declined to comment on the matter.

Nevertheless, inside sources suggest that an announcement could arrive as soon as October.

Android owners have only been able to interact with their devices on a Toyota’s infotainment system through the Ford-developed SmartDeviceLink, which controls and limits what is displayed on the screen. It’s a hassle and a system that never should have been needed if Toyota was an early adopter of Android Auto.

Speaking as recently as April about its refusal to add Android Auto, the executive program manager for the Toyota Avalon, Mark DeJongh, said it was being done in the interest of customers.

“We wanted to protect our customers’ privacy. We strongly believe in our stance and in what we’re doing.”

In the years since Apple CarPlay and Android Auto were introduced, the two have become a valuable selling point for dozens of new vehicles. The technology was met with some resistance from certain manufacturers, including from Porsche, but is now widespread across the industry.

Toyota Corolla Hatchback infotainment with Apple CarPlay pictured

more photos...
  • I believe Toyota concerned about privacy, which is why the refused Android Auto. I would like to see Toyota offer Android Auto as an upgrade for the 2018 Corolla and Camry like Mazda is offering with its sedans. I have a 2018 Corolla. It’s been said Android Auto is designed be the least distracted. Currently, Apple CarPlay is only offered a few 2019 Toyota models.

    • PhilMcGraw

      Mazda has only formally announced updating the 2018 Mazda6 to have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. This is because the 2018 model was a refresh for the Mazda6. All new refreshes from 2019 onward will have it automatically installed including the CX-3 and CX-9 refreshes that were recently announced. So they aren’t going to update those who have, say, a 2018 CX-3 or a 2018 CX-9 (at least they haven’t said it would be free or offered).

      • ksegg

        2018 CX-3,5,9 owners can pay probably $200-300 (I’m guessing) for the installation via their dealerships. All 2018’s have the hardware for CP and AA already.

        Anything below 2018….they can still get the upgrade, but will have to pay for the install PLUS the hardware.

  • SpongeBob99Swell

    About time…

    …hopefully it’ll come as a status update in the 2019 Avalons, RAV4s, Corolla Hatchbacks, Camrys, etc (in all seriousness, the new Avalon would’ve been the perfect sedan for me if it had Android Auto on board, according to my book..)

    • SpongeBob99Swell

      In addition, I hope Lexus also jumps on the Android Auto bandwagon too… (especially as a status update for the new LCs, LS’, ES’, UXs, etc)

  • eb110americana

    Great Toyota. Welcome to 2015.

  • Six Thousand Times

    Took ‘em long enough.

  • Liam Paul

    my cousin was going to buy a toyota minivan but she ended up going with kia’s minivan because she wanted AA. how many sales have they lost due to this fact.. It’s pretty silly of toyota

  • HaltestelleLuitpolthafen

    BS.

    It has absolutely nothing to do with privacy, it has to do with the fact that their infotainment was heinously outdated and couldn’t support it. New equipment isn’t cheap and they didn’t want to spend the money. Entune is an absolutely awful system.

    • botornot387

      That and probably they didn’t want to pay for licensing and also reduce their control over what users use in their cars. Of course shunning this would force people to use Entune, but once they put this out their why would you?

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