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2021 Crosstrek Limited - Magnetite Gray Metalic
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Starting this thread to (hopefully) capture the collective experiences of folks using this device to connect Android Smartphones using Wireless Android Auto to Crosstreks Head Units. Everyone should start by giving "details" about their setup to make it easier to suggest changes and to help identify the source of any issues. We can use this thread to describe our experiences (Issues + Tips & Tricks) using this device. I posted some of my experiences with the MA1 in the "What did you do to your Subaru today???", but I wanted to start an uncluttered thread that could be use as reference for current and future Motorola MA1 users in this community.

Details as of 02/20/22:
Model/Year: Limited 2021
Head Unit: 8" with Navigation System + Harman Kardon Premium Audio - Firmware : Rel_UH.21.41.70 NAFTA
Smartphone Make/Model: AT&T Samsung S21+
Android Platform: Android 12 - Build G996USQU5BULJ
Android Auto (AA) Version: 7.4.120744 beta (AA Developers Option enabled)
Google Maps Version: 11.18.0
Waze Version: 4.81.0.4
Spotify Version: 8.7.6.1087

Most of the information that follows is from the previous post I mentioned above, but I have updated it with more current information. The info below also refers to the Wireless charger that I use in conjunction with the MA1 as shown in the picture.

I'm very happy with my Motorola MA1 setup. The MA1 allows me the convenience of taking off my jacket (as I do when I drive) and placing it in the back seat "without" having to take my phone out its pocket. No need to plug the phone to the USB cable in the car and then place it on the seat side saddle... where I always forget it. I can't count the infinite number of times that I have to get back to the car because I left my phone behind. When it's cold, I never forget my jacket. I also found it inconvenient to unplug/re-plug my phone every time I use it to make contact-less payments at drive-thru windows and in some garages. Plugging and unplugging also adds undue wear to the USB port of the phone. This makes the MA1 wireless dongle worth every penny to me.

I attached the Motorola dongle with Velcro to the top left side of the cubby instead of using the adhesive pad that comes with it. This way it can be easily attach it and remove it. It's on the left side of the cubby because the pair/reset button of the MA1 is on the exposed side of the dongle. Btw, this button can also be used to switch between two paired phones. The LED light also faces the driver. The bottom USB port in the cubby is still available and the wireless charging pad has an additional USB port for charging that is easy to reach. (See picts) The wireless charger works well even while my sizeable Samsung S21+ is in its protective case. You can tell that it's charging either by looking at the LED on the charging pad or by looking at the battery icon on upper right corner of the HU. The wireless charging pad, is mostly to get rid of the USB cables for charging. My phone is usually fully charged when I leave the house. I also charge it while I'm at work or at my final destination. I have yet to test these wireless devices on a long drive, so I don't know how they will behave. I don't know if the phone will overheat while charging it and using the Bluetooth/WiFi/Cell connections on long trips. Given that the phone is in close proximity to the dongle... it "might" reduce the amount of power the phone needs to use to connect to it.

So far the only issues that I have encountered are: 1. When listening to Spotify and using Waze voice navigation, the volume is lowered, but the music stutters/skips when the navigation voice comes on. This issue is not as noticeable when using Google Maps and it does not happen when using the USB cable as the volume is lowered and the music continues without a hitch. 2. As time goes on, skipping to the next track also takes a little longer than when connected via USB which is bit annoying. This also happens with Google Maps, but it's not as bad. Hopefully, these issues will be fixed in future releases of Android, Android Auto and/or Spotify. 3. (This is related to the wireless charger) The phone can shift out of the charging position when you hit a bump or travel on uneven roads, but it doesn't happen that frequently to me. So, I wouldn't recommend the wireless charger for off-roading. I might try adding some sort of side clips to the wireless charging pad to keep the phone in place.

I have now been using the Motorola dongle for almost two weeks and will continue to test using future releases of Android Auto, Spotify, Waze and Google Maps and report my results here. I'm hopeful, that the issues I just mentioned will be addressed soon by the developers of these apps. I also have to try clearing the cache/data from these apps the next time I take a leisure drive. I have done this with previous versions of AA, Spotify and Waze, but not with the currently installed versions of these apps as I have no time to make adjustments as I drive to and from work.

If anyone has similar issues or found solutions to the ones mentioned above, please post your experiences/solutions.

Moderator, please move this post if it is not in the appropriate section of this forum.

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Good Afternoon Tamanco. Thank you for your informative and helpful advice and tips. I was thinking about purchasing the same dongle that you have. But after careful research, My 2017 Forester isnt compatble (So they said). Maybe my wife will " let me upgrade my factory stereo ( after this new mishlin crosstrack 2 tires my Christmas present from last year are payed in full) I digress
 

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Crosstrek Outdoor, JDM Legacy 2.0 GT spec.B
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Thanks for sharing :cool: I am interested in getting one of this type of device as well - so your comments are helpful.
 

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I'll add mine here. Thanks for a in-depth write up.
My info:
2018 base model 6mt Crosstrek.
Transplanted larger non-nav radio from limited (UO.18.43.20)
Pixel 6 phone, most up to date android and Android auto app.

I'm pretty happy. Some days it works with no issues, other days, at random times, the screen stops displaying Android auto, and will go to the Subaru launcher page for like 15 seconds, then AA will launch again. I haven't done a hard reset on the MA1 yet, so that may help. On mine, it saves me from having a cord running out of my center console, as that's where the AA USB is, so overall 4/5 for now.

I use Google maps, Spotify, hangouts, messages, and Google podcasts. Only issue I noticed is the one I mentioned above.
 

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2021 Crosstrek Limited, Metallic Grey
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The bottom USB port in the cubby is still available and the wireless charging pad has an additional USB port for charging that is easy to reach. (See picts) The wireless charger works well even while my sizeable Samsung S21+ is in its protective case. You can tell that it's charging either by looking at the LED on the charging pad or by looking at the battery icon on upper right corner of the HU. The wireless charging pad, is mostly to get rid of the USB cables for charging.
do you have info on the wireless charging pad you are using there? model, where you got it from, and comments about fitment? Thanks!
 

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2021 Ice Silver Sport
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do you have info on the wireless charging pad you are using there? model, where you got it from, and comments about fitment? Thanks!
Tamanaco is using this charging pad available at Amazon:

 

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2021 Crosstrek Limited - Magnetite Gray Metalic
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
do you have info on the wireless charging pad you are using there? model, where you got it from, and comments about fitment? Thanks!
Here is the Amazon Link to the Wireless Charging pad I've been using. It's called "CarQiWireless" and it's specific for the last couple years model of Crosstrek. Very easy to install as it was just Plug & Play. It charges my Samsung Galaxy S21+ even while in its protective case as shown in the picture above. The pad fits perfectly on the sides of the cubby with about an inch gap in the back. It doesn't move from side to side, but if you push the tray it will move. I was thinking of cutting up a piece of hard black foam to take up the gap if it starts moving, but so far, it has not been necessary. The phone stays in place while it charges most of the time, but as I mentioned above, it can move out of place when you hit a bump. If it moves out of charging position the green LED on the charging pad goes off and the battery icon on the upper right corner of the HU changes status. So far it's worked perfectly, but since I have not gone on a long trip or have kept my phone on the charging pad while connected via Android Auto to the MA1 for long periods of time, I don't know if the phone will overheat.I believe that removing it temporarely from the charging pad will mitigate any overheating issues. Also, the charging pad has a power button to turn the pad on/off manually. The pad "should" also turn off automatically and the LED will light up in white to indicate that the phone is fully charged, but I have yet to test this functionality. The other convenience of this charging pad is that it has a USB charging port on the front, so there's no need to reach back in the cubby to charge another device via USB cable. Below are the pictures I also posted in the other thread.

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2021 Crosstrek Limited, Metallic Grey
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Thanks all, I'll be ordering one of those charging pads today... and an MA1 if the bloody things ever come back in stock - I missed out on the first wave. And especially with the changes to Android Auto they made, the normal BT pairing is now about useless
 

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'18 and '19 Crosstrek Limiteds
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Thanks all, I'll be ordering one of those charging pads today... and an MA1 if the bloody things ever come back in stock - I missed out on the first wave. And especially with the changes to Android Auto they made, the normal BT pairing is now about useless
AA/CarPlay has always required that the phone be plugged in with a USB cable. The only changes I'm aware of are that they moved the active USB ports. Ours are in the armrest cubby. I suspect they moved them to the center console cubby to shorten the cable length and improve connectivity.

BT is only audio, no AA/Carplay, unless anything has changed lately or these charging pads also have a way to connect to AA/CarPlay.

If the wireless charging pad doesn't connect to AA/CarPlay, I don't see much value in getting one.
 

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2021 Crosstrek Limited - Magnetite Gray Metalic
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Discussion Starter · #10 · (Edited)
AA/CarPlay has always required that the phone be plugged in with a USB cable. The only changes I'm aware of are that they moved the active USB ports. Ours are in the armrest cubby. I suspect they moved them to the center console cubby to shorten the cable length and improve connectivity.

BT is only audio, no AA/Carplay, unless anything has changed lately or these charging pads also have a way to connect to AA/CarPlay.

If the wireless charging pad doesn't connect to AA/CarPlay, I don't see much value in getting one.
The USB wired connection was needed for "data" connection to the HU for navigation (maps from phone) + to use the AA Graphics User Interface (GUI) from the HU instead of the phone. The USB cable connection was also needed to maintain the phone "charged" while in the car. The Motorola MA1 solves the "data" connectivity to the HU and the charging pad solves the "charging" function from the USB port to the phone without a USB cable. Two separated functions.

Audio/Phone functionality has traditionally used BT even without an infotainment HU. I'm almost 100% sure that the connection from the Phone to the MA1 dongle is via WiFi, but the "initial"configuration of the MA1 to the phone requires BT. Once the Phone connects to MA1 dongle via WiFi... the usual BT connection from the phone to the car is reestablished. BT only allows connection to a single device at a time. You can pair multiple devices, but only one can be active.
 

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2021 Crosstrek Limited, Metallic Grey
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AA/CarPlay has always required that the phone be plugged in with a USB cable. The only changes I'm aware of are that they moved the active USB ports. Ours are in the armrest cubby. I suspect they moved them to the center console cubby to shorten the cable length and improve connectivity.

BT is only audio, no AA/Carplay, unless anything has changed lately or these charging pads also have a way to connect to AA/CarPlay.

If the wireless charging pad doesn't connect to AA/CarPlay, I don't see much value in getting one.
Sigh, yes I'm aware that FULL features of AA require a cable. However, up to a couple weeks ago when Goggle made the changes to Android Auto - when I started the car and it paired the phone, it would open Android Auto on my phone, and I could easily go to the "apps" on my head unit and fire up Pandora. Now it throws an error if I do that, and only works if I start Pandora on the phone while it's paired, and then I can control it from the head unit. I find this VERY inconvenient having to fish my phone out of my pocket - especially in these winter months - to fire of Pandora on the phone.

I want the Wireless AA so I don't keep forgetting or having to plug/unplug the damned phone when I get out. The wireless charging matt will be convenient if this plague ever ends, and I can start safely doing road trips again.
 

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2021 Crosstrek Limited, Crystal Black Silica, Black Interior, 2016 VW Touareg Luxury
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Thanks both! Good to know there's a completely wireless solution. Maybe something I can get for OtherAstroKat who has a birthday coming up...
She will love you for it. We have iPhone's but just got the Carlinkit 3.0 wireless adapter and it is awesome. Links right up, allows us to choose which phone we want to connect and has worked flawlessly for the few days we've had it connected.

The exact one we got seems to be for iPhone only but as you already know, they are available for Android phones.
 

· Resident topic drifter
'18 and '19 Crosstrek Limiteds
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She will love you for it. We have iPhone's but just got the Carlinkit 3.0 wireless adapter and it is awesome. Links right up, allows us to choose which phone we want to connect and has worked flawlessly for the few days we've had it connected.

The exact one we got seems to be for iPhone only but as you already know, they are available for Android phones.
It wouldn't be the end of the world if I could only get one for CarPlay. It is her car, after all, and her phone is usually buried in her enormous handbag. I go with the minimalist option, just my phone, DL/ID and a credit card that I can slip into my jeans. Vax card is scanned on my phone.
 

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Audio/Phone functionality has traditionally used BT even without an infotainment HU. I'm almost 100% sure that the connection from the Phone to the MA1 dongle is via WiFi, but the "initial"configuration of the MA1 to the phone requires BT. Once the Phone connects to MA1 dongle via WiFi... the usual BT connection from the phone to the car is reestablished. BT only allows connection to a single device at a time. You can pair multiple devices, but only one can be active.
All wireless AA systems use a WiFi-Direct connection between the phone and the HU (via adapter or native). This is a device to device connection providing the necessary bandwidth to project AA from your phone to the HU display wirelessly. WiFi Direct does not require a network. That is why there is no network name (SSID) associated with the wireless AA connection.
 

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2022 Canadian Sport trim (6MT // 2.0 )
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Do you still need BT pairing for voice calls or can the HU handle phone operation via AA / Wifi only?

Good write-up tho. Might get it when I upgrade to a phone with wireless charging.
 

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Do you still need BT pairing for voice calls or can the HU handle phone operation via AA / Wifi only?

Good write-up tho. Might get it when I upgrade to a phone with wireless charging.
The BT connection from phone to HU is the trigger to launch AA. When your phone connects to the HU, the AA app will launch on both the phone and HU. The MA1 adapter is only the data conduit between your phone and HU. Without the trigger, a successfully "paired" MA1 LED light will blink green waiting for the two devices to connect. Many people lose their wireless AA connection because they have deleted/disconnected the phone BT connection believing they only need the MA1.
 

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2018 Lifted 6-speed Crosstrek
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at first the adapter was working great for me, now not so much.

2018 Premium
Pixel 5 - but running android 12 beta - im wondering if this could be my issue.

After the first couple drives of it working totally fine, it stopped connecting. Tried to re-pair the adapter and my phone as I did the first time but it does not seem to want to pair again. It also removed the phone/headunit BT connection, so I had to readd it to my phone to at least get BT music working again.
 

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2021 Ice Silver Sport
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at first the adapter was working great for me, now not so much.

2018 Premium
Pixel 5 - but running android 12 beta - im wondering if this could be my issue.

After the first couple drives of it working totally fine, it stopped connecting. Tried to re-pair the adapter and my phone as I did the first time but it does not seem to want to pair again. It also removed the phone/headunit BT connection, so I had to readd it to my phone to at least get BT music working again.
Android 12 has been in public release since October 2021. Are you running the Android 12L beta? Is your Starlink HU running the latest fireware?

This is the link for the Motorola MA1 adapter support page: Motorola Sound Support

Read through the FAQs to see if it helps. Good luck.
 
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