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Android Auto


In response to huge US traffic death surge, NHTSA proposing stricter in-vehicle smartphone guidelines

If you've been reading anything about traffic fatalities in the United States in the last year or so, you've probably heard that we're in the midst of a rather alarming increase in the number of people dying on American roads. In 2015, over 38,000 people were killed in vehicular incidents (this includes pedestrians, cyclists, solo crashes, and multi-vehicle accidents). That was an increase of 7.2% over 2014. 2016 is looking much worse yet, seeing a surge of around 10% over the already grim 2015 numbers. For comparison, the traffic death rate per 100 million vehicle miles is also way up, the worst it's been in seven years (i.e., this is not a simple result of more miles being driven).

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Sony XAV-AX100 Android Auto headunit available for pre-order

Android Auto is starting to pick up a little bit of steam, which is nice to see for us car audio nerds. Recently, Auto hit v2.0 which brought with it some changes, including an on-phone mode. For those of us who do not have a fancy new car that includes the smartphone connectivity, aftermarket headunits are our next best bet. That brings us to Sony's first dip into this particular arena, the XAV-AX100. Announced back in August, we only got some news about features. Well, now this bad boy is up for pre-order at $499.

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Android Auto integration with Facebook Messenger now available

Texting while driving can be extremely dangerous, but replying to messages with your voice is probably the safest way to do it. I've used Google Now (well, it's not called Now anymore) on my Nexus 5X countless times to send SMS and Hangouts messages while driving. Facebook today announced that the Facebook Messenger application for Android has added support for Android Auto.

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Android Auto v2.0 has a jump shortcut for lists in audio apps and prepares to add several new settings and a homescreen shortcut [APK Teardown + Download]

Android Auto v2.0 began rolling out earlier this week with a pretty significant redesign that made the driving mode part of the app's primary UI. There were quite a few changes to support the on-phone Auto simulator, including a fair number of new options like the ability to auto-launch with certain Bluetooth connections (and prevent that if it's still in a pocket).

While most of the new features are easy to discover when poking around in either the driving mode interface or in the couple of config screens, there's a new feature in the audio player that deserves to be called out on its own.

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Logitech's ZeroTouch car mounts re-purposed as Android Auto mounts, now available from Google Store

Some months ago, Logitech released a pair of car mounts called "ZeroTouch." At the time, I thought they were interesting, but ultimately not worth the high price. Now, this same hardware is back on the Google Store as an Android Auto mount. The price is still crazy, though.

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Android Auto v2.0 is rolling out with on-phone mode [APK Download]

Google announced it would be making Android Auto available directly on your phone's screen a while back, but it didn't offer any time frame. It was starting to look like it was never happening, but lo and behold, Android Auto on phones is now rolling out. It's part of the Android Auto v2.0 app, and we've got the APK ready for you.

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Mercedes and Kia add new Android Auto models


Maserati adds Android Auto to three models, but details are scarce

Maserati, Italian manufacturer of cars for people who want something more expensive than a Jaguar but not quite as pricey as a Lambo, has been on the official Android Auto support for a while now. But before this week, there hasn't been any actual availability from the company. Three models were added to the official Auto list on Thursday: the Levante crossover and the Ghibli and Quattroporte sedans. Only the Granturismo coupe is not getting access.

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Sony announces $500 Android Auto head unit, its first, says it's "Android Auto 2" compatible

Sony has a new Android Auto head unit - its first, actually - the catchily-named XAV-AX100. The main draw of the device seems to be the sound quality, with four "55-watt Dynamic Reality Amp 2" amplifiers and Sony's EXTRA BASS low-boost circuitry supposedly overcoming engine noise to deliver crystal clear sound.

On the Android side, Sony says the XAV-AX100 has Android Auto 2 installed. If you're not overly sure what that is, you're not alone. Maybe it's the things Google announced at I/O this year for Auto? That would include things like OK Google hotwording and OEM apps, but possibly the most important announcement, WiFi projection mode - which means the Android Auto connection from your phone to the head unit is wireless - is not mentioned in the blog post Sony published today.

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Hyundai's DIY Android Auto update system expanded to four new cars, including the Sonata Hybrid and Veloster

It must be nice to have a car with a media system that can be updated - some of us are lucky just to get Bluetooth. Some Hyundai owners can actually upgrade their in-car entertainment systems to give them Android Auto support, and today that list expands by four according to Cnet. Owners of the 2016 Sonata Hybrid (standard and plug-in), 2016 Veloster, and 2015/2016 Azera can now get some sweet, sweet Android Auto action with a download and a bit of legwork.

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