Motorola MA1 brings wireless Android Auto to any car with wired Android Auto

Motorola MA1 brings wireless Android Auto to any car with wired Android Auto

Android Auto started out as requiring a USB connection from your phone, but some newer head units and cars support a wireless connection. There are still a lot of cars and entertainment systems without wireless Auto, though, which has led to various attempts to create adapters (such as AAWireless). Now there’s another adapter that aims to add wireless to support to any car that already has wired Auto — and it has Motorola’s name on it.

The new adapter is called the Motorola MA1, but it’s not actually being manufactured by Motorola. The dongle is sold by SGW Global, which already has a license to use the Motorola name on various home phones and audio devices. Regardless, once you plug it into the USB port on your car or head unit, it can connect to your phone over Bluetooth and 5GHz Wi-Fi. Just like with ‘real’ wireless Android Auto, there’s no need to take your phone out of your pocket — starting your car will automatically establish a wireless connection.

The Motorola MA1 looks a bit like a Chromecast, with all the hardware contained in a small puck-shaped unit at the end of a short USB Type-A connector. It would have been nice to see a more compact design, but the USB ports in some cars might not be accessible that way, and there will apparently be mounting tape in the box so it won’t rattle around your car.

SGW Global says the adapter will be available on motorolasound.com and in select retailers worldwide, starting on January 28, 2022 at $89.95. The press release says it only works with smartphones running Android 11 or higher, but if the system requirements are identical to normal wireless Auto (which is likely the case), it should also work with any Google or Samsung phone running Android 10. The Galaxy S8, Galaxy S8 Plus, and Note 8 could also use wireless Auto with Android 9.0, but each of those phones have been updated to newer versions by now anyway.

Update 1 (01/13/2022 @ 03:03 ET): The Motorola MA1 is also now available to pre-order on Amazon.

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Corbin Davenport
Corbin Davenport

Corbin is a tech journalist and software developer based in Raleigh, North Carolina. He's also the host of the Tech Tales podcast, which explores the history of the technology industry. Follow him on Twitter at @corbindavenport.