Android Auto could soon be set to start automatically, even if your phone is locked

Android Auto could soon be set to start automatically, even if your phone is locked

Android Auto is Google’s answer to the question “how do I connect my phone to my car”. The app essentially lets you access a limited set of optimized functions while you drive, with the primary objectives of balancing driver focus, connectivity, and entertainment. But to actually connect to Android Auto, you need to connect your smartphone to your car’s infotainment unit, either through a wire or wirelessly. Google is apparently making it slightly more convenient to connect to Android Auto, letting users get connected without requiring to unlock their smartphones.

An APK teardown can often predict features that may arrive in a future update of an application, but it is possible that any of the features we mention here may not make it in a future release. This is because these features are currently unimplemented in the live build and may be pulled at any time by the developers in a future build.


We spotted the following new strings in Android Auto 5.9:

<string name="settings_connection_allowed_while_locked_description">Even when your phone is locked</string>\n<string name="settings_connection_allowed_while_locked_title">Start Android Auto automatically</string>

Currently, the Android Auto app automatically launches itself if you connect your phone to a car and unlock your phone (presuming you have the app already installed on your phone and that you have a head unit that supports Android Auto). We know some units have trouble launching Android Auto automatically upon connection with an unlocked phone. While the hints within the app do not mention this, this new setting could possibly be to remedy these instances of connection failure. If this feature completes implementation, the app should launch automatically when you connect your smartphone, without requiring you to unlock your phone, when you toggle the setting.

We don’t know if this feature is for wired connections or for wireless connections, or both. We will have to wait for Google to roll out the change to find out more.

Android Auto
Developer: Google LLC
Price: Free

About author

Aamir Siddiqui
Aamir Siddiqui

A journalist at XDA-Developers and the current Editor in Chief, I have been writing for XDA since 2015, despite being a qualified business-litigation lawyer. A low-end smartphone purchase in 2011 brought me to the forums, and it's been a journey filled with custom ROMs ever since. When not fully dipped in smartphone news and tutorials, I love traveling to places just to capture pictures of the sun setting. You can reach out to me at [email protected] or on Twitter (@aamirsidd94).

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