New Motorola dongle solves one of Android Auto's main problems

Motorola Ma1 Android Auto Adapter
Motorola Ma1 Android Auto Adapter (Image credit: Motorola)

What you need to know

  • Motorola has introduced a new dongle that enables wireless Android Auto on your car.
  • The Motorola MA1 wireless car adapter is developed in collaboration with SGW Global.
  • It boasts a 5GHz Wi-Fi connection for fast media transmission.

Many of the best Android phones already support a wireless Android Auto experience, but the vast majority of in-car head units still rely on tethered connections. That's where Motorola's new dongle comes in, adding wireless support to your existing USB-enabled Android Auto unit.

Motorola announced a new wireless car adapter for Android Auto called MA1 at CES 2022, allowing drivers to connect to their vehicle's infotainment system without pulling out a cord. The new dongle was developed in collaboration with SGW Global.

"The Motorola MA1 eliminates the need to plug your phone into your car's infotainment system every time you get in your car, allowing for easy access to your favorite navigation apps," said Dave Carroll, executive director of strategic brand partnerships at Motorola.

Motorola Ma

Source: Motorola (Image credit: Source: Motorola)

The dongle is easy to use and works with any in-car head unit that supports wired Android Auto. You can connect the MA1 adapter via USB to your car and pair it with your phone via Bluetooth. The dongle then enables you to send media files over a 5GHz Wi-Fi connection, eliminating the need for a cord between your phone and the head unit.

MA1, like previous wireless car adapters such as Carsifi and AAWireless, addresses one of the worst things about Android Auto by allowing car owners to access it wirelessly without breaking the bank. In most cases, wireless Android Auto requires an expensive Wi-Fi connection, so many vehicles are still limited to wired Android Auto connections.

The new dongle will be available from January 28 for $89.95 via the Motorola Sound website. Your device must be running Android 11 or higher to use Android Auto wirelessly on your head unit. It should also be noted that the dongle doesn't install Android Auto on vehicles, so make sure that your car already has it.

Jay Bonggolto
News Writer

Jay Bonggolto always keeps a nose for news. He has been writing about consumer tech and apps for as long as he can remember, and he has used a variety of Android phones since falling in love with Jelly Bean. Send him a direct message via Twitter or LinkedIn.

  • Finally. More expensive than I want, but I never use AA with the wire. It is too much of a hassle as they connection cuts out if the cable moves. This is on every car, and different phones that I've been in with AA. The only one was a Ford F150 with Sync 4 which has the wireless Android Auto in it.
  • I'm with you - I blame USB-C myself. Never had a connectivity issue over all the years with micro USB, but type C has failed so consistently for me across dozens of cables and nearly a half dozen phones between my wife and me... If my phones didn't depend on such a crappy connector I wouldn't need this dongle, but alas everything has adopted this failure prone connector so this dongle is looking pretty slick right now
  • You need a cable that is USB IF certified. Since i got one there is no issues. These cables have been tested for movement.
  • So is it Bluetooth or is it wifi?
  • Both. Bluetooth to pair up to the dongle, and wifi for the data transfer.
  • I like the idea but I just have the one USB port and having that size gadget sitting out all the time would take up more space if the small cubby my USB port resides in. So I may just stay with the plug in version of AA for the time being and maybe if price drops 50% range, I may get to try, assuming it works well.
  • I'll wait for it to drop in price.