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Every car is now a potential Android Auto

Siva

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Over the past couple years Google has slowly been working to build out their Android Auto ecosystem. This includes developments to the user interface and perhaps more importantly, obtaining agreements from auto manufacturers to make Android Auto available as a user interface on the screens in new vehicles. Obviously there is one big shortcoming to these plans – all of the vehicles on the road that were produced before Android Auto was ever available. To get around that, Google announced today the ability to run Android Auto on any Android 5.0 or higher smartphone, meaning all vehicles could potentially have the system running as they scoot on down the road.

The main feature that Google brings to this latest update to Android Auto is the ability to run a special, simplified user interface that will run on an Android phone. The interface is designed to do a couple things. Heading the list is eliminating distractions of notifications and app access that is not essential when driving. When the new Android Auto interface is running, only apps for directions, music, or communications (handsfree and voice-activated) will be accessible.

The other key component is to make the user interface usable for a driver. This means doing things like making buttons bigger and easier to access when compared to typical app controls. If you have ever attempted to use a smartphone in this manner when driving, you are likely familiar with how challenging it can be to tap a button that uses a tiny sliver of the screen when bouncing down the road.

To aid in the use of the new Android Auto, Google also says they are working on improvements to the “OK, Google” family of voice commands that can be used by Android Auto. These should be coming out in the next few weeks according to Google.

Until now, Android Auto only worked when the phone was connected to a compatible vehicle. Now users can launch the interface right on their phone, which can be triggered by a Bluetooth connection. Notably, Google indicates they have plans to offer Bluetooth-supported car mounts in the Google Store, like the Logitech SmartCar mount.

The new version, Android Auto 2.0, will be available in all countries, more than 30, where Android Auto is available and is in the process of rolling out over the next few days.

Every car is now a potential Android Auto - TalkAndroid.com
 
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