​Honda Will Be The First Real Automaker To Use Real Android In Its Cars

Illustration for article titled ​Honda Will Be The First Real Automaker To Use Real Android In Its Cars

The new Euro Civic is out, and while Honda still refuses to bring the hatch to the states, one thing that should be coming is its new Android-powered infotainment system.

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Honda has been hinting at a major revamp of its archaic head units for a while, and its committed to offering both Apple's CarPlay and Android Auto on select models next year. But this takes it a step further, with an NVIDIA-powered infotainment system powered by Android 4.0.4.

Yeah, that's still behind the latest Android build – 4.4 or KitKat – but considering Honda's current systems look like they were inspired by Windows 3.1, we'll call that progress. And it still includes all the touchscreen-friendly interactions you'd expect, including pinch-to-zoom and gestures – not that either are particularly well designed for driving.

Illustration for article titled ​Honda Will Be The First Real Automaker To Use Real Android In Its Cars

Beyond navigation, Bluetooth, and internet browsing, Honda isn't saying much more about the new system ahead of its reveal at the Paris Motor Show next week. But we've been told that this is part of a broader initiative, so while the hatch might never make it to our shores, the Android infotainment system has a shot.

DISCUSSION

powered by Android 4.0.4.

I don't dislike the idea, but this quote right here immediately identifies the problem. Android 4.0.4 was released 2.5 years ago (March 2012) and this Honda infotainment system hasn't even been released yet. This Honda system is outdated but usable at launch, but who knows how usable this is after 3 years (when the car's still in production)? Or 15?

If you're going to use Android in your entertainment system, use vanilla Android which can be updated. Even better would be including a hardware module that can be replaced by a more modern one later on. The cost of such a module is a double digit figure. Or even better yet, add a mirror option for your actual phone.