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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. Once an Android device is paired with the 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.

Functionality

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. 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. In Android Auto's first iterations, the device was required to be connected via USB to the car. Alternatively, in November 2016, Google added the option to run Android Auto as a regular app on an Android device, i.e., not tethered to a car's head unit, which allows it to be used on Android-powered head units, or simply on a personal phone or tablet in the vehicle.

Availability

As of April 2021, Android Auto is available in 42 countries:

History

*June 25, 2014: Android Auto was revealed at Google I/O 2014. *March 19, 2015: Android Auto was released. *November 2016: Google added the option to run Android Auto as a regular app on an Android device. *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. *December 2020: Google announced the expansion of Android Auto to 36 additional countries in Europe, Indonesia, and more. *April 2021: Android Auto launched in Belgium, Denmark, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal and Sweden.

App support

An Android Auto SDK has been released, allowing third parties to modify their apps to work with Android Auto; initially, only APIs for music and messaging apps are available. At CES 2018, Google confirmed that the Google Assistant would be coming to Android Auto later in the year. 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 support

In May 2015, Hyundai became the first manufacturer to offer Android Auto support, making it first available in the 2015 Hyundai Sonata. Automobile manufacturers that will offer Android Auto support in their cars include Abarth, Acura, Alfa Romeo, Audi, Bentley (will be coming soon), Buick, BMW, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Ferrari, Fiat, Ford, GMC, Genesis, Holden, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Jaguar Land Rover, Jeep, Kia, Lamborghini, Lexus, Lincoln, Mahindra and Mahindra, Maserati, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Opel, Peugeot, RAM, Renault, SEAT, Škoda, SsangYong, Subaru, Suzuki, Tata Motors Cars, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo. Additionally, aftermarket car-audio systems supporting Android Auto add the technology into host vehicles, including Pioneer, Kenwood, Panasonic, and Sony.


Criticism


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. 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. But since 2020, 3rd party mapping apps such as Sygic are available too. Google announced a new SDK to be released to select partners in August 2020 and to be generally available by the end of 2020.

See also

* CarPlay * MirrorLink *Entune

References



External links

*
Android Auto
app at the Play Store
Apps for Android Auto
at the Play Store {{Google navbox Category:2015 software Category:Android (operating system) Category:Dashboard head units Category:Google software Category:Natural language processing software Category:Virtual assistants