Like Bluetooth, some modern car stereos have a USB cable that you can use to connect external storage devices. This enables you to then browse your library of tunes through the car audio system.
Hooking up an Android phone in this way is simple. If a USB cable was provided with the audio system then simply connect your phone with a suitable adapter. Otherwise identify the USB port on the device and connect your Android handset.
Once connected your Android phone will need switching to storage mode, so drag down the notification bar and select USB Mass Storage/USB Connection Mode (differs according to release and manufacturer). You will then be able to navigate your Android phone’s library on your car audio system.
FM TransmitterArguably the best option is to use an FM transmitter, although how you achieve this depends on the hardware. Some Android phones come with built-in FM transmitter functionality, in which case you can use this natively or with a free app such as Quick FM transmitter and then broadcast the MP3 and other audio files on your phone to your car radio.
If this isn’t an option, however, then a low-cost purchase will be required, providing you with a small FM broadcast device that you can connect your phone to via the headphone jack. Typically this will work in a similar manner to the analogue cable solution, although the FM transmitter may require exclusive access to the in-car charger.
ConclusionDespite the wealth of alternatives for playing music in your car from an Android phone, it is surprising to find that most people tend to opt for the FM transmitter or cassette adapter options. This is typically because they’re unaware of the Bluetooth option (or not impressed with the hit on battery life) or that they drive older cars with cassette players.
The problem with this is that if your car has a digital sound system you’re not getting the best use out of it by relying on the analogue solutions.
What do you think? Have you come across any better options?
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