Android Auto

Android Headliner: Android Auto, is it What we Really want in our Car?

July 5, 2014 - Written By Alexander Maxham

Just last week, Google held their keynote at Google I/O and had a ton of stuff to announce. In fact, just about everything tied into Android L. One of the bigger things that was announced was Android Auto. Basically bringing Android to your car. Up until this year, most of the in-car systems that these car makers use have all been pretty clunky OS’, but now they’ll have a choice between Apple’s Carplay and Google’s Android Auto. In fact, some are even choosing to support both. Which is great since it’ll work with both of the major smartphone OS out there.

I was actually at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit, earlier this year. And I checked out quite a few cars, obviously. The systems that they use in those cars are pretty bad. It’s yet another OS that we need to learn how to use. We already have a desktop and a mobile OS that we use everyday, we don’t need an Auto OS as well. But that’s where Google – and even Apple to an extent – come in. Google demoed Android Auto last week, and it’s the same experience as you’d get on your smartphone or tablet with Android L. Which is the best part. It already has a bunch of apps that are compatible like TuneIn Radio, Stitcher, Pocket Casts, Google Play Music, Google Maps, and I’m sure there will be plenty more in the fall once it’s available to everyone.

One of our Editors, Justin, was at Google I/O last week and was able to get some hands-on time with Android Auto, which we have that video at the bottom of this post for those that missed it. Google is part of the Open Automotive Alliance which has over 40 members. Those include the likes of Audi, Honda, Hyundai, Volvo, GM, and many others. Including some smartphone makers and even NVIDIA is on-board for the Open Auto Alliance. We should be seeing Android Auto available in just about every car maker that is in the alliance. We’ll probably see some GPS companies like Garmin also join in and provide some after-market choices for those that don’t want to buy a brand new car. Because, let’s face it, not everyone buys a car every year or two. It’s typically 5+ years before you buy a new car, right? And by then we may not even have Android Auto anymore.

Android Auto is a great product from Google and the fact that it’ll get updated with Android, is even better. No more needing to worry about why my car isn’t on the latest version of Android Auto. Additionally, car makers cannot put their own skin over top of Android Auto. So no matter what car you buy, you’ll have the same experience with Android Auto. Which I think is super important. Unlike with smartphones these days where you’ll have a different experience with just about every phone you pick up.

Are any of you excited for Android Auto? How many of you are planning to buy a new car soon? Let us know in the comments below.