I've just moved from iOS to Android, purchasing the new Galaxy S3. Lovely phone; I'm impressed thus far.

The only thing that I'm struggling with is playing audio, via USB, to my car's head-unit.

I've got a 2012 Nissan Juke (upgraded Nav head unit with USB port in the center console) which worked fairly seamlessly with my iPhone 4. I'd plug the USB cable in, and my music would start playing through the car's speakers - with names/album/length etc. displayed on the head-unit's display. This worked with music I'd loaded on to the phone and the Spotify app.

When I plug my S3 in, the phone detects the connection and asks what mode I want to use - Media mode, or Camera mode. Regardless of which mode I use, the head-unit is unable to play either stored or Spotify music.

I've read up a little, and I'm wondering if this is to do with the S3's inability to render itself in Mass Storage mode.

Does anyone have any suggestions for a workaround, or an app which might resolve the problem? I can play audio via Bluetooth, but its interface isn't as seamless and I will forget to turn Bluetooth on/off; don't want to drain the battery excessively.

  • 1
    Largely a guess, but I wouldn't think USB mass storage mode is the issue since the iPhone does not support that either. My thought would be that the USB connector in your car is designed specifically for the iPhone/iPod connector interface, just as many other peripherals are (speakers, docks, etc). My car has a similar connector (at least it sounds similar) labelled "iPod" that allows me to use the stereo to control an iPod, but only an iPod. For my phone I simply have to use an "Aux" 3.5mm input instead. Commented Jun 3, 2012 at 2:56
  • Well, I checked the head-unit's manual and it says nothing specific about an iPhone. The USB port on the head-unit just has a USB sign above it, not a label for "iPhone".
    – turbonerd
    Commented Jun 3, 2012 at 10:30
  • you can enable USB mass storage, if you don't mind rooting android.gs/… Commented Nov 20, 2012 at 2:56

4 Answers 4


Yes and no. The fact that your Galaxy S3 does not support mass storage mode means that you cannot play audio files stored on the S3 with the radio, like you could with a USB stick. (If your car's radio supports mass storage, that is.)

However, the other type of USB connection, allowing your iPhone to be controlled by your car's radio is an Apple Accessory connection. This is a protocol for communication between Apple devices such as the iPod and iPhone and accessories like your car's radio. Android currently does not support the Apple Accessory connection, but has it's own protocol for communication with USB accessories. It might be technically possible to create a solution for Android to allow it to speak with Apple Accessories, but currently (as far as I'm aware) no such solution exists.

  • Is it possible to find out which one of the 2 types of connection is supported by my car? The manual says that it supports ipods/PFDs/zunes/usb drives. The relevant part is in page 172-173 of this PDF : chevrolet.com/content/dam/Chevrolet/northamerica/usa/nscwebsite/… Commented Nov 18, 2012 at 18:26
  • Support for usb drives implies you could use mass storage to access music stored on your Android phone. Commented Nov 20, 2012 at 9:28
  • Thanks +paulredert . I wanted to know if my car supported the other mode (Apple Accessory Connection) . Is there a way I can find out? Commented Nov 25, 2012 at 21:40
  • As far as I know is iPod support the same as Apple Accessory Connection, so that should probably be supported. Commented Nov 27, 2012 at 0:26

As both eldarerathis and Paul Redert have mentioned, it seems that the USB port on your Juke is designed to support two types of USB connection: 1) mass storage mode, where it reads an attached USB peripheral as a logical drive and searches for compatible media files, and 2) iDevice Accessory mode, where it attempts to communicate with and Apple device over a proprietary protocol.

CNET has an article from 2010 describing the different ways Android phones can connect to a vehicle (as of 2010, of course). While most of it will tell you what you already know, I thought their compromise solution might be applicable:

...during our testing of the 2010 Acura TSX V-6, we were able to pair our Motorola Droid via Bluetooth for phone calls and Pandora Radio while using the USB port for charging. When we wanted to listen to locally stored audio, we simply mounted the USB connection and used the AcuraLink receiver to browse our folders. Likewise, a user could do the same thing with a vehicle that has an auxiliary input and a USB connection, but no Bluetooth.

It's sounding like mass storage mode might not be an option for your SGSIII, but using the Juke's USB connection for power to offset the use of Bluetooth for media might be a way to accomplish what you want. If you're worried about forgetting to turn off Bluetooth, you could look at ways to instruct the phone to remember for you. My personal favorite is Tasker, and setting up simple profiles for turning on and off Bluetooth under specific conditions could be as simple as two one-line tasks.


I had a HTC Desire HD and no problem connecting to my car radio (Sony XPlod) via the front USB port, provided the HTC was set up to connect via 'disk drive'. The problem I see with the S3 is that this (or similar) option does not exist. The radio sees the connection and tries to load but nothing happens. I could (untried yet) connect via the Aux jack, but then I'd need to cables instead of one. One step forward and 2 steps back.


Maybe your memory can't access by your music system -- so try like this:

When you plug in please check notification, may be your cell phone got in charging mode and mass storage is used by some other resource. So from notification disconnect logically your cell and then try to start play music with music play from mobile itself with connected music player system.

Hope it works.

  • It's really hard to understand what you are saying. I tried to improve it, so now it should at least be readable -- but unfortunately I still don't understand it (and before you ask: No, the downvote is not mine).
    – Izzy
    Commented Aug 29, 2012 at 6:36

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