You usually have to get a car with Android Auto pre-installed if you want the feature to ever be available to you, but Hyundai has embraced Google's car platform more so than others. It just announced an update is available for some of its 2015, 2016, and 2017 models that adds Android Auto and CarPlay. You can install them yourself or go to a dealership and pay them to do it.
Android Auto is quite possibly shaping up to be the dark horse in Google's larger Android family. At I/O 2016, Google announced more new Android Auto features than it ever has before, including the much-demanded wireless mode which will finally see Android Auto freed from the tether of a USB cable (if that's something you're into).
The real story from an adoption perspective, though, wasn't really Wi-Fi mode, the standalone phone app, or Waze integration: it was a silly little tire pressure notification in a Honda Civic.
You see, to date, Android Auto's interface has had five tabs - telephony, navigation, media, home, and the mysterious "OEM" tab, which has an icon that looks like a vehicle gauge.
There were plenty of features announced at Google I/O yesterday regarding Android and some of those new things are meant for Android Auto - Google's car dashboard system. The most exciting of them is the fact that you will no longer need an Auto-enabled vehicle to be able to benefit from the simplified car-friendly interface while you're driving. You can also learn more about the features in our video, below.
In the next few months, Android Auto will get several interesting additions. First is Waze compatibility with the app running on your dashboard and keeping you in the loop of hazards ahead and potential delays and problems. Second is OK Google hotwording which will activate voice commands when you say "OK Google" instead of requiring you to press a button to start listening.
If you've read any of my articles on Android Auto, you'll know that my thoughts - for the sake of brevity - are that it's just kind of OK. This is because Android Auto's philosophy of projection via smartphone over USB and Bluetooth is inherently limited in what it can actually do with a vehicle. And so, many of you have asked on Auto articles I've written in the past: "Why doesn't Google just build an Android Car OS?" WhileGoogle may not have been listening per se, they definitely had the same idea, and have created just that. You can also check out our video quickly going over the concept below.
The past year has been good for Android. As Google likes to do during each of its annual developer conferences, it happily boasted about a few numbers. Engineering Vice President Dave Burke appeared happy to give the news.
Companies launched over 600 phones in the past year. During this time, Android users installed apps over 65 billion times.
There's one car manufacturer I've been keeping my eye on when it comes to the Open Automotive Alliance (OAA) and Android Auto: Mercedes-Benz. It's one of the most popular car brands in Lebanon for many reasons (some logical and others not so much) and I personally drive a C230 Kompressor that I love and find reliable and sturdy on our bumpy roads. However, until now, Mercedes-Benz has been an Apple Carplay partner, but nowhere to be seen on the OAA members page.
That changes today. The members list has been updated to add Mercedes-Benz, logo and website and all. The other heavyweight German manufacturer, BMW, is still MIA though.
Ever wonder how Android Police always knows right away when Google makes a new country available for any of its services? It's simple! We pick whichever intern has been annoying us this week, chain sit him down in front of a computer, and make him reload Google Support pages like this one once every thirty seconds. When he sees a change, no matter how tiny, he bangs a pot with a wooden spoon, thus alerting one of our diligent writers to take a look at the page. If something of substance has changed, like a new country being added to Google's list of officially supported Android Auto countries, we write it up.
Android Auto continues to gain momentum as automakers search for a relatively easy and inexpensive way to equip their cars with electronics that work with customers' smartphones. South Korean auto company Kia previously committed to the platform on a handful of its cars, at least according to the official Android Auto website, but that list has been considerably expanded as of the latest update. The latest version lists nearly twenty models that will have Android Auto capability, including several 2014-2016 models that will receive it as an update.