Launched back in 2015, Android Auto functionality is an almost indispensable feature for anyone driving a car in city traffic. The problem is, if your phone is too old, you’ll have to invest in a new device to still benefit from this functionality.
Without prior warning, Google has decided to restrict Android Auto compatibility to devices running at least Android version 7.4, distributing automatic updates that leave older generation devices without Android Auto support. Officially, the new threshold is set even higher, with Android 8.0 being the minimum version that should be installed on the phone to receive full support.
The problem is that Android 8 phones aren’t that old, with this version of Android just 5 years old. So if you bought a budget Android phone and didn’t get a firmware upgrade over this version, you won’t be able to use it for navigation via Android Auto, year connected to your car’s infotainment system.
According to Google’s own data, devices running Android 7.0, or older, account for just 15% of all Android devices left in circulation. Thus, withdrawing Android Auto support for Android 8 0 shouldn’t be that big of a problem. In practice the inconvenience will be greater the less consumer buying power there is, forcing Android users to purchase new devices.