Android Headunit version check

Checking the version of android installed on your headunit can be the first step to help you find why some apps won’t install or some features are missing.

Your new android headunit will come with a version of android pre-installed. This version will stay with it for life because there is no manufacturer android version upgrade path for android headunits.

The pitch

The sales pitch and advertising will highlight the installed android version because this is seen as a key selling point. Even above the actual hardware that makes the difference between good and bad, the android version is often seen as the deciding factor in the sale.

The reality

The reality is often based in a lie, so checking the actual android version installed is an important thing to do, particularly when finding the right version of app to install or diagnose why some apps are misbehaving.

The lie

The lie is often an old version of android with the android name in the package install that has been edited with a text editor. Using any of the checking apps will show whatever is written in the ‘Android version’ entry and this could have just been changed to make it look later than it actually is. This is very common with the fake android headunits.

The check

The check is to read a line below, look for ‘API level’. This is the android API level and is directly linked to the actual android version. The fakers are not changing this API level in the same way they edit the android version shown. So a much more reliable check for the actual android version installed is the API level.

Android API level

But, just knowing the android API level is pretty meaningless without knowing which android version the API level is linked to. No worries, it is a simple look up to see which android API level = which android version.

Checking tools?

Use AIDA64 (play store) or CPUz (also play store), both free apps on the play store can help you identify the true android version, referencing our look-up tool below.


Common API level and android versions found on android headunits

Android 12 (API level 31)

Android 11 (API level 30)

Android 10 (API level 29)

Android 9 (API level 28)

Android 8.1 (API level 27)

Android 8.0 (API level 26)

Android 7.1 (API level 25)

Android 7.0 (API level 24)

Android 6.0 (API level 23)

Android 5.1 (API level 22)

Android 5.0 (API level 21)

Android 4.4W (API level 20)

Android 4.4 (API level 19)

Android 4.3 (API level 18)


Just look up your API level to check it matches the android version shown to be sure they match and indicate the true android version in your android headunit. Any discrepancies and the API level would win as the deciding version.

In our example image above the Android version is shown as Android Version 9 and the API level is 28.
A quick look at our tool above shows ‘Android 9 (API level 28)’ which matches the API to the listed version. This is good, and the expected version of android installed is correctly identified and running Android 9 (Pie).

Marshmallow
Marshmallow
An android-headunits.com staff blogger. I am a multi-skilled dogs-body and I also make the coffee ☕

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