You Can Now Get Android Auto In Your Car With Your Android Phone And Compatible Pioneer Head Units
Finally, users can now take full advantage of Google's Android Auto smartphone interface for automobiles as the first of the aftermarket units hit the market this week. In the United States, the new Pioneer AVIC-8100NEX, AVIC-7100NEX, and AVH-4100NEX models will all come with Android Auto integration.
Earlier this year, these units were demonstrated at the CES 2015 event, showing how they will let users of compatible Android Lollipop smartphones connect their devices and gain dashboard access to Google's specially designed in-car interface for voice activated and touch screen mirrored hands-free calling, audio, app control, and even Google Maps navigation. On top of all this, Android Auto also supports complete hands-free text messaging, reading aloud of incoming text messages, and letting drivers respond via speech-to-text recognition technology.
In order to activate this functionality, users will need to install the Android Auto companion app from the Google Play Store. Upon installation of the app, it will handle the turning over of controls from the smartphone to the in-car receiver. Essentially, all your familiar apps and services will be brought to the screen in your dash, making it easier for users to easily retrieve the information they while driving on the road. Moreover, the companion app also gives drives the ability to select which vehicles can access Android Auto when connected to the smartphone, and which ones to deny access.
The AVIC-8100NEX is considered the top-of-the-line option and is priced at $1,400. It comes with a capacitive touch screen, which is nifty considering that the AVIC-7100NEX (priced at $1,200) only features a resistive touch display. These two models though come with fully functional onboard navigation software. As for the AVH-4100NEX, which comes with the lowest price, it does not have Pioneer's on-board navigation software. But drivers can still make use of their phone's Google Maps app to help them with navigation.
In the United Kingdom, drivers can experience Android Auto with the AVIC-F77DAB, AVIC-F70DAB, and AVH-X8700BT. As for those based in Australia, they can use the AVIC-
F70DAB, or the AVH-X8750BT.
A year ago, Pioneer was the first to offer Apple CarPlay in the market with its 2014 NEX series of aftermarket multimedia receivers. While Pioneer is the first with Android Auto, more car makers and automobile electronics manufacturers are sure to follow in releasing their own compatible offerings. As a matter of fact, these already include the Kenwood DDX9902S and the 2015 Hyundai Sonata.