Android Auto

Android Auto is a mobile app developed by Google to mirror features of an Android device, such as a smartphone, on a car's dashboard information and entertainment head unit.

Android Auto
Original author(s)Google
Developer(s)Google
Initial releaseMarch 19, 2015; 7 years ago (2015-03-19)
Operating systemAndroid 6.0+[1]
TypeTelematics
LicenseProprietary
Websiteandroid.com/auto

Once an Android device is paired with the car's head unit, the system can mirror some apps on the vehicle's display. Supported apps include GPS mapping and navigation, music playback, SMS, telephone, and Web search. The system supports both touchscreen and button-controlled head units. Hands-free operation through voice commands is available and recommended to reduce driver distraction.

Android Auto is part of the Open Automotive Alliance, a joint effort of 28 automobile manufacturers, with Nvidia as tech supplier, available in 36 countries.

FunctionalityEdit

 
Android Auto home screen

The most common way Android Auto is deployed is via an Android mobile device running the Android Auto app, acting as a master to a vehicle's dashboard head unit that supports this functionality.[2] Once the user's Android device is connected to the vehicle, the head unit will serve as an external display for the Android device, presenting supported software in a car-specific user interface provided by the Android Auto app.[2][3] In Android Auto's first iterations, the device was required to be connected via USB to the car.[4]

For some time, starting in November 2016, Google added the option to run Android Auto as a regular app on an Android device, which allowed the choice to use it on a compatible automotive head-unit, or simply on a personal phone or tablet in the vehicle.[5] This app was decommissioned in June 2022 (without affecting functionality on head-units), in favor of a Driving Mode built into the Google Assistant app.[6]

AvailabilityEdit

As of February 2022, Android Auto is available in 46 countries:[7]

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Belgium
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Denmark
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • France
  • Germany
  • Guatemala
  • India
  • Indonesia
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Mexico
  • Netherlands
  • New Zealand
  • Norway
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Philippines
  • Poland
  • Portugal
  • Puerto Rico
  • Russia
  • Singapore
  • South Africa
  • South Korea
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela

HistoryEdit

  • June 25, 2014: Android Auto was revealed at Google I/O 2014.
  • March 19, 2015: Android Auto was released.[8]
  • November 2016: Google implemented an app that would run the Android Auto UI on the mobile device.[5] It is speculated that this was a stop-gap solution while work was done on a Driving Mode built into the Google Assistant app,[9] seemingly confirmed as this was decommissioned in 2022 in favor of the Assistant app's Driving Mode.[6]
  • July 2019: Android Auto received its first major UI rework, which among other changes, brought an app drawer to Android Auto for the first time. Google also announced that the app's ability of being used on a phone would be discontinued in favor of Google Assistant's drive mode.[10]
  • December 2020: Google announced the expansion of Android Auto to 36 additional countries in Europe, Indonesia, and more.[11]
  • April 2021: Android Auto launched in Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and Sweden.[12]
  • May 12, 2022: Google announces a user interface redesign for Android Auto, codenamed CoolWalk, which aims to simplify the app's usage, and make it more adaptable to screens of different orientations and aspect ratios. The redesign incorporates a new split screen layout, where Google Maps can be displayed alongside a music player.[13] CoolWalk was originally slated to launch in Q3 2022.[14]
  • June 2022: Android Auto can no longer be run directly on the mobile device; the app permitting this was decommissioned, in favor of a Driving Mode built into the Google Assistant app for a similar purpose.[6]
  • November 11, 2022: The new CoolWalk user interface is released in Android Auto's beta program.[15]

App supportEdit

An Android Auto SDK has been released, allowing third parties to modify their apps to work with Android Auto;[3] initially, only APIs for music and messaging apps are available.[16][17]

At CES 2018, Google confirmed that the Google Assistant would be coming to Android Auto later in the year.[18]

Currently supported apps include Google Maps and Waze, popular music players such as Google Play Music, YouTube Music, Amazon Music, Apple Music and Spotify; and messaging apps, including WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Google Hangouts, Skype and Telegram.

Head unit supportEdit

In May 2015, Hyundai became the first manufacturer to offer Android Auto support, making it first available in the 2015 Hyundai Sonata.[19] Automobile manufacturers that will offer Android Auto support in their cars include Abarth, Acura, Alfa Romeo, Aston Martin, Audi, Bentley,[20] Buick, BMW, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Citroën, Dodge, Ferrari, Fiat, Ford, GMC, Genesis, Holden,[21] Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jaguar Land Rover, Jeep, Kia, Lamborghini, Lexus, Lincoln, Mahindra and Mahindra, Maserati,[22] Maybach, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Opel, Peugeot, Porsche,[23] RAM, Renault, SEAT, Škoda, SsangYong, Subaru, Suzuki, Tata Motors Cars, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo.[24]

Additionally, aftermarket car-audio systems supporting Android Auto add the technology into host vehicles, including Pioneer,[25] Kenwood,[26] Panasonic,[27] and Sony.[28][29]

CriticismEdit

In May 2019, Italy filed an antitrust complaint targeting Android Auto, citing that a Google policy of only allowing third-party media and messaging apps on the platform prevented Enel from offering an app for locating vehicle charging stations.[30]

Initially, Google did not enable third parties to integrate their mapping apps with Android Auto, only its own apps, Google Maps and Waze, being available.[31] But since 2020, third party mapping apps such as Sygic are also available.[32]

Google announced a new SDK to be released to select partners in August 2020 and to be generally available by the end of 2020.[33]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. ^ "Android Auto - Get more answers". Android. Retrieved September 18, 2020.
  2. ^ a b Devine, Richard (June 26, 2014). "What you need to know about Android Auto". Android Central. Retrieved June 27, 2014.
  3. ^ a b Goodwin, Antuan (June 25, 2014). "Google's new Android Auto is like Google Now for your car". CNET. CBS Interactive. Retrieved June 26, 2014.
  4. ^ Gorman, Michael (June 25, 2014). "Google gives us a simulated ride with Android Auto". Engadget. AOL Inc. Retrieved June 26, 2014.
  5. ^ a b "Android Auto: now available in every car". Official Google Blog. November 7, 2016. Archived from the original on November 7, 2016.
  6. ^ a b c Schoon, Ben (June 21, 2022). "Android Auto is now 'only for car screens,' as phone version shuts down for good". 9to5Google. Retrieved September 24, 2022.
  7. ^ "Is the Android Auto app available in my country?". Android. Retrieved April 3, 2021.
  8. ^ Welch, Chris. "Google's launch of Android Auto starts today with Pioneer head units". The Verge. Retrieved August 19, 2019.
  9. ^ "Here's what's happening to Google's driving apps for Android 10, all three of them". The Verge. Retrieved September 24, 2022.
  10. ^ "The new Android Auto officially starts rolling out today, and it's mostly an improvement". July 30, 2019.
  11. ^ Schoon, Ben (December 3, 2020). "Android Auto expands to 36 more countries mainly in Europe". 9to5Google. Retrieved December 4, 2020.
  12. ^ @Android (March 30, 2021). "Android Auto is rolling out to Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and Sweden" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  13. ^ "Android Auto is Getting a Much-Needed Makeover". Gizmodo. May 12, 2022.
  14. ^ "New ways to stay connected and entertained in your car". Google Blog. May 12, 2022.
  15. ^ "Android Auto's long-awaited redesign is nearly here — here's how you can take it for a test drive". Android Police. November 11, 2022.
  16. ^ Moynihan, Tim (June 25, 2014). "Google Announces Android Auto, Its Answer to Apple's CarPlay". Wired. Condé Nast. Retrieved June 26, 2014.
  17. ^ "Autoradio GPS". Archived from the original on March 14, 2016. Retrieved March 17, 2016.
  18. ^ Reigh, Brian (January 8, 2018). "Google Assistant will soon live inside your car". Android Authority. Retrieved January 10, 2018.
  19. ^ "Android Auto: The First Great In-Car Infotainment System". WIRED. Retrieved November 10, 2017.
  20. ^ "Bentayga FAQs". English. Retrieved November 2, 2021.
  21. ^ "Android Auto for Holden". Android. Retrieved February 26, 2019.
  22. ^ "Maserati Second Generation head unit by AuCar for GranTurismo and GranCabrio". AuCar. November 7, 2020. Retrieved April 5, 2021.
  23. ^ "Porsche Press releases: New Porsche infotainment: knows more, does more and is a better listener - Porsche AG". Porsche HOME: New Porsche infotainment: knows more, does more and is a better listener - Porsche AG. Retrieved October 2, 2021.
  24. ^ "Android Auto".
  25. ^ "Pioneer-Android-Auto". Retrieved August 28, 2015.
  26. ^ "Kenwood-Android-Auto". Retrieved January 4, 2016.
  27. ^ "Android Auto for Panasonic". Android. Retrieved November 17, 2016.
  28. ^ "Android Auto for Sony". Retrieved July 25, 2017.
  29. ^ Kim Bussing, Anton Galang (June 27, 2019). "The 8 Best Car Stereo Systems of 2019". Lifewire. Retrieved August 11, 2019.
  30. ^ O'Kane, Sean (May 17, 2019). "Italy opens antitrust probe into Google because of a rejected Android Auto app". The Verge. Retrieved May 18, 2019.
  31. ^ "Wake Up Google! Your Customers Want Freedom of Navigation in Android Auto". sygic.com (in French). Retrieved April 20, 2020.
  32. ^ Beedham, Matthew (December 15, 2020). "Google's Android Auto finally has a third-party app for navigation". Shift | The Next Web. Retrieved March 18, 2021.
  33. ^ Mickey Kataria, Director of Product Management, Android for cars (August 11, 2020). "New ways to reach more drivers on Android for cars". googleblog.com.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)

External linksEdit