Do you have a car?
Does it have Android Auto?
Does it only support wired connections and not wireless?
Do you use an Android phone?
Do you like dongles?
If you answered ‘yes’ to all of those questions, then this is the product for you.
I’ve been using the MA1 for about two months. I’ll start with the “Before MA1 Time”:
My new car had Android Auto support, but only via USB plugged in via the middle console of the car. I had high hopes for using Android Auto, particularly for mapping as I’d be confident it’s better than any car’s build in GPS and map solution; but jumping in the car and having to plug the phone in every time is a pain. It might sound like a small pain, but it’s enough to not bother – getting the phone out my pocket, docking it in a phone holder and plugging the USB-C cable in is enough, but then there’s the 20-30 seconds it takes to detect and start actually working. I slowly did this less and less, until I’d only go through it when I had a new destination to go to and knew that before getting to the car.
This has a few negatives, partly the mixed experience in navigating the car’s entertainment system depending if I was plugged in or not, but also not having the benefits of Google Maps telling me where there were delays on each trip and suggesting alternate paths (which comes in handy driving to work where there’ll be an inevitable daily car crash somewhere, holding up traffic).
Enter the Motorola MA1 Wireless Car Adapter For Android Auto™. A small enough dongle designed to make a wired only Android Auto car, wireless. It does what it says on the box, and very simple to pair via Bluetooth and get started with. Once paired, there’s nothing to do – I get in the car, turn it on, and within 10 seconds Android Auto is up and running with my phone still in my pocket.
This means I can do things like quickly scroll to the address of work as I take off in my car and get those traffic benefits. Or, I can control my Podcast app and pick a different item to listen to (legally – my car blocks the touch screen when the car is moving, but allows dial/button controls which I can do at red light).
Answering and making calls was already fine by normal Bluetooth – it’s probably easier to look up contacts now but I’d normally use a Google voice command to call someone anyway. No real difference there.
The only negatives I can call out about this device are that the cable between USB port and dongle is a bit stiff and can’t be twisted – if inconvenient though, I’m sure a USB extension cable would work to get the dongle in a preferred location. The second is that because it’s now running via Bluetooth, I do have a rare occasional dropout and I think it’s actually when I drive in a certain physical location near a hospital; possibly something’s getting in the way of Bluetooth itself. It does take about 20ish seconds to recover, but will do so without having to do anything but wait.
I purchased mine via Telstra Plus Rewards with some points that were going to expire, but you can also buy via Amazon.
Worth checking out for those that answered ‘yes’ to all those questions at the start – it’s a lot cheaper than getting a new car with wireless Android Auto.