Getting connected while on the move has become more of a necessity nowadays. This is why carmakers have been installing infotainment systems into their vehicles. But since these systems are sometimes not enough, drivers have turned to Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, both offering easy-to-use interface compatible with many vehicle systems.
More than 200 new vehicle models from over 50 brands are now supporting Android Auto. However, Android Auto users have found that this tech is not compatible with older vehicles. In addition, it seemed not possible for vehicles without any infotainment systems to employ Android Auto.
But what if Android Auto can be brought straight onto a smartphone? This would be a great idea as this would make possible for a car without a compatible infotainment system to use Android Auto. Now, Google has noticed this possibility and worked to create an updated version of Android Auto that enables it to be employed directly through a smartphone app, without integrating it into a car’s infotainment system.
Android Auto 2.0 allows anyone with a smartphone running Android 5.0 or later to access the certain functions – directions or navigation, notifications and music controls as well as dialer for making and receiving calls – while on the road through a driver friendly interface.
Of course, Android Auto 2.0 still allows the integration of the smartphone to a compatible car display. This means that as long as an infotainment display inside a vehicle supports Android Auto 2.0, Google’s updated offering should be able to present all available functions. Likewise, users may also place the Android Auto-enabled smartphone on the car’s dashboard. This means users could now receive turn-by-turn directions using Google Maps, which is as good as any satellite navigations system. Likewise, they could now launch their favorite music with apps like Google Play Music, Spotify or Pandora.
Interestingly, Android Auto 2.0 could now be automatically started as soon as the user pairs his or her smartphone with Bluetooth. Of course, users could still opt to manually start the app. In addition, users could also send messages or make calls through with hands-free voice commands. Google is still in the process of further improving Android Auto 2.0, especially support for its hands-free voice commands. According to the tech giant, users could soon access features like maps, messaging and music by just saying “Ok Google” – which means drivers won’t have to take their eyes off the road just to do those functions.
Currently, Android Auto 2.0 is being rolled out to over 30 countries. However, it should be noted that certain countries have banned any physical use of the phone – whether messaging or calling – which means that users could only use the app during a traffic halt or while pulling over.