Vote 2020 graphic
Everything you need to know about and expect during
the most important election of our lifetimes

Google Just Made Android Auto Even Better

Google
Google

Google announced a huge wave of updates with practical new features and plans for its Android Auto car interface system, including the ultimate dystopian future-reality fear of your phone completely encompassing your car.

Advertisement

That last part actually isn’t that bad. At today’s Google I/O conference, Android Auto got a few big updates as well as a chance to preview the future of the automotive interface in the form of a Qualcomm-modified Maserati Ghibli.

Advertisement

The modified Maserati included a new vertical-layout 4K screen, pictured above like you’d find in Tesla’s offerings, with a digital readout running a specialized interface model called Android Auto N. Also synced up to the Android phone was an HD instrument panel screen, displaying instructions alongside speed directly in front of the driver.

Illustration for article titled Google Just Made Android Auto Even Better

The benefits of a more-integrated interface like this opens the doors to vehicle controls like temperature and technical readouts like speed, gas mileage, fuel levels, etc. The best part is that the Qualcomm system would be open-source, so if you wanted to boot up Apple CarPlay instead (and it had the functionality for it) you’d be able to.

Now, that’s the future. The present updates and new features for Android Auto honestly have me finally sold on the feature. Before you had to own an Android Auto compatible car to plug your phone into and use the interface, but the updates fix that.

Advertisement

First up, you can now use Android Auto without actually connecting it to the car’s interface. Many people were surprised to learn that they couldn’t run Android Auto’s simpler interface design while driving just using the phone. Why not making the benefits of a minimal-interaction interface available at all times? Well now it is!

Illustration for article titled Google Just Made Android Auto Even Better
Advertisement

The second major update is wireless connectivity for Android Auto. The current system requires the phone to be physically plugged into the car, taking up that coveted charging port. Later this year Android Auto users should be able to connect to the car’s interface via WiFi, as long as your car offers a hotspot to connect to.

The final minor tweaks for Android Auto to come later this year include two more things: the “OK Google” voice command prompt will finally be available to interact with Android Auto’s interface like you would other Google or Android products; and the Waze navigation app will finally be available to use instead of Google Maps later this year in the Android Auto interface. A safer way to boost your score?

Advertisement

So, now that you can use Android Auto just running on your phone, without giving up your favorite game-ified navigation app, are you willing to try out Android Auto?

Share This Story

Get our newsletter

DISCUSSION

imgonnamakeyouloveme
imgonnamakeyouloveme

I don’t like this trend. Give me switches that I can turn and real buttons that I can push. With those you can just reach out in the general direction of where you want and do what you need to do without taking your eyes off the road (plus, they work with cold hands and when wearing gloves or mittens). And in front of me all I need is a speedometer, tachometer, odometer, and fuel gauge—everything else is an unnecessary distraction.