Google Premieres Android Auto, Putting Your Android Phone in the Car
At its annual I/O developers conference Wednesday, Google announced the release of a new car-based operating system that lets you connect your Android phone to your automobile’s infotainment system. The new driving assistant, dubbed Android Auto, will allow you to dictate directions, music, or communications without removing your hands from the steering wheel or your eyes from the road.
Google’s Android Auto follows the announcement of similar systems from Apple (CarPlay) and Microsoft (Windows in the Car) that will sync their own operating systems to infotainment systems. Those three major software and hardware makers are all simultaneously moving to attract users on as many screens as possible –– smartphones, tablets, smartwatches, TVs, and now automobiles.
Android Auto works quite simply, as long as all the right components are in place. You simply plug your Android phone into an enabled car (more than 40 auto manufacturers will be partnering with Google). Once the operating system shows up on your car’s control panel screen, you can set it down and start driving. From there, you can control the system by speaking aloud, or navigate the screen by touching it or using your steering wheel’s buttons.
The main functions of Android Auto are based on three of the most common things you need to do while driving: navigation, communication, and — of course — listening to music.