Google has made the official announcement that the Android Auto system is a go. Consumers in the United States, Australia and the UK are able to access the technology now. Does this mean Google intends to continue biting from the big Apple? You betcha!
A little healthy competition is always a good thing when it comes to services provided because it keeps the technologies interesting and the costs somewhat down. The new Google Android offerings have stolen a percentage of dedicated Apple lovers already, and they seem to be digging in for ways to attract even more. The Google Android Auto interface works with Android Lollipop 5.0+ smartphones and Pioneer head units, for the moment. Because that is but a small slice of the market, it seems that will expand based on user interaction figures as they begin to emerge. To begin, just download the Android Auto companion app from the Play Store.
The Android Auto interface offers users most of the typical perks they have grown accustomed to using, such as navigation and in-dash communications functions like Bluetooth. It is designed to function more like an integrated part of a vehicle rather than an add-on, so the buttons are all front-and-center in efforts to make them easily accessible to the driver. Traditional Google applications like Maps, Play Music, Pandora, Spotify, Voice and Search are all there, but there is no YouTube or other apps created for video watching at this juncture. Presumably the Android Auto interface is for the driver and all safety measures are in place to keep the focus on the road. Some third-party apps can be added to the system. Hey, passengers can watch videos on their personal devices, after all.
The main safety function of Google’s Android Auto is that it is completely voice-enabled, clearing the roads of fumbling fingers, swearing and dangerous distractions. Supposedly, one can simply plug-in their device and the system will begin to work its magic on the vehicle’s infotainment screen based on voice commands. If the system works as smoothly as they say, it will be popular in the competitive market. If the voice system fails to live up to expectation, they will need to revise it until it is acceptable—hopefully before too many users are deterred.
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