Google Releases Major Update For Android Auto
A few months ago, Google announced that it was planning to launch its Android Auto smartphone interface for vehicles as a stand alone Android mobile app. Through this approach, the tech giant was basically promising that Android Auto would be made available to every car. Well, Google has made good on its promise, releasing a major update to the Android Auto app. Through this latest update, users can now experience all the advantages of Android Auto even if their vehicle is not necessarily compatible with the platform.
For those not familiar with Android Auto, here are the basics. What the platform does is provide a user with an easy to use Android interface that provides directions, entertainment (especially music), and incoming notifications, and merges them all into one zero distraction user experience on one’s Android powered mobile device. It is basically what one sees on an in-vehicle display inside a car that has support for Android Auto.
By the way, the platform also works with familiar mobile apps such as Google Maps, Spotify, and Pandora, just to name a few. And because this thing is made by Google, it should allow users to make use of OK Google voice commands, especially with regards to getting directions, managing music related controls, and transmitting messages.
Using Android Auto on one’s handset is far easier than loading up Google Maps on your device. This is because Android Auto eliminates those other app notifications that can potentially distract the driver’s eyes from the road. But having said that, there is some complexity involved. To date, when it is running through the user’s in-vehicle navigation system, Android Auto is legal in virtually every state in America. However, touching one’s handset while driving is not legal in most states, despite the mobile interface of Android Auto offering basically the same interface.
Moreover, Google is now giving users the ability to start the Android Auto mobile app when their handset is paired with their vehicle’s Bluetooth network. Speaking of handsets, it should be noted that the Android Auto app is made compatible with smartphone that is powered by Android 5.0 or a later version.
With regards to the deployment of the major update for Android Auto, Google has stated that it will be arriving to users in over 30 countries in the few days or weeks. Some may be wondering if the updated Android Auto has Waze. Alas, not yet -- but Google is promising that it will come soon.