Adding Android Auto or CarPlay to Your Car Is Easier Than You Think

Adding Android Auto or CarPlay to your car is easier than you think

With the increasing integration of smart technology into our daily lives, having seamless connectivity in our vehicles has become more desirable than ever. Android Auto and Apple CarPlay offer a convenient way to access navigation, music, and other apps directly from your car’s dashboard. However, not all cars come equipped with these features, especially older models. Thankfully, there’s an easy and cost-effective way to add this functionality to your vehicle without the need for complicated installations or expensive equipment.

Replacing a Head Unit Can Be Complicated

While many aftermarket head units support Android Auto and CarPlay, installing one can be daunting. Even for DIY enthusiasts, the process involves removing parts of the car’s interior and working with electrical wiring, which can be intimidating. Compatibility issues further complicate the situation. Many older vehicles are not prominently listed in compatibility guides, leaving owners uncertain whether a particular model will work. This uncertainty often discourages people from upgrading, leading them to settle for less satisfactory solutions.

Portable Head Units Are Cheap and Easy to Use

Fortunately, there’s a simpler solution: portable head units. These devices have recently become widely available on platforms like Amazon. Unlike traditional head units, portable models don’t require any permanent installation. They function much like the GPS units that were popular in the early 2000s, offering a compact and easy-to-mount alternative.

I found a portable head unit for just $45, which is significantly cheaper than most built-in models. It features a 7-inch touchscreen and comes with various mounting options and cables. Installation was a breeze—I simply mounted it, plugged in the power and aux cables, and within minutes, I had a fully functional Android Auto display in my 2009 Chevy Silverado.

You May Even Get Bonus Features

Interestingly, many portable head units come with features that are often missing in built-in systems. For example, while my partner’s 2019 Ford Escape requires a USB connection for Android Auto, my portable device supports wireless connections right out of the box. Additionally, it includes features like AirPlay and Android Cast, allowing for video streaming to the screen—capabilities that are rare in built-in systems.


Adding Android Auto or CarPlay to your vehicle doesn’t have to be a complicated or expensive process. Portable head units provide an affordable and easy-to-install solution, often with extra features not found in factory-installed systems. If you’re looking to upgrade your car’s infotainment system, a portable head unit is a fantastic option that requires minimal effort and delivers significant benefits.

Adding Android Auto or CarPlay to your car is easier than you think
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