Android devices that are no longer in use still have so much utility to offer that there are services they are still suitable for. For example, how about turning your old tablet into an Android Auto screen for your car? However, keep in mind that you must place it securely in the vehicle so that it does not get in the way while driving (and not to receive fines).
Having an in-car operating system that connects to the phone is extremely convenient while driving since not only can you use its connectivity to give internet to the vehicle, but it also allows you to make calls without touching the screen or put on some music to make the trip more enjoyable. That your car lacks a system compatible with your Android? If you have an old tablet, you can turn it into a full infotainment system.
One simple app and you already have Android Auto
In itself, Android Auto is nothing more than an application preinstalled on your mobile which project phone screen to car console. Therefore, said car does not have the operating system itself, only software to receive the screen projected by the phone. And this process can be perfectly reproduced with another mobile or, in our case, with this old tablet that we had stored in a drawer. And when we say vintage, we mean: we’ve revived our old (and wonderful) Motorola Xoom.
You can place the tablet in a holder suitable for the dashboard (be careful, it must not interfere with the vision of the road) and thus receive the projected screen from the mobile. This allows you to have the GPS navigator clearly visible, manage music on your mobile or use Google Assistant to interact with calls or messages. The possibilities are enormous. And you only need one app: Headunit Reloaded.
The app in question is paid, but it’s worth every penny of what it costs: it’s wonderful if you want to have Android Auto on other devices
Headunit Reloaded Emulator for Android Auto
Once the app is installed on the tablet, it’s time to start the process.
- Open Android Auto on your mobile. The easiest way to find it is to go to phone settings and type in “Android Auto”. Click on the result with this name.
- Once in the Android Auto menu, scroll down to the version number. Press several times and accept developer settings activation.
- Once you’ve enabled Android Auto Developer Settings, click the top three menu dots and choose “Start the main unit server“. Your Android mobile is ready.
- Open Headunit Reloaded on the tablet that will act as the Android Auto screen, follow the setup steps and accept the permissions.
- Turn off your mobile WiFi and share your data connection through a hotspot.
- Connect the tablet to the hotspot mounted on the mobile (the one that will open the Android Auto application).
- Once you share the data, go to the tablet, open Headunit Reloaded, make sure the screen is horizontal (otherwise Android Auto will boot distorted) and click “WiFi”.
- Android Auto will open automatically: set it up on mobile and when you’re done you’ll have Android Auto active in Headunit Reloaded, the tablet app.
Considerations to take into account
How does this method work perfectly mimics native Android Auto. You can even connect the mobile to the tablet via a USB tablet: for Headunit Reloaded to work, you must choose the USB option (on the button on the lid).
Although it works like a “normal” Android Auto, there are some things you need to pay attention to.
- We recommend that the tablet is not too large. If the dimensions of the screen are very large, you may not be able to place the device safely in the car.
- Reminder: the tablet must not interfere with the vision of the road. Otherwise, you could get a sanction from the authorities.
- Make sure the tablet is firmly attached. Safety always comes first.