Earlier this summer, Google announced new categories of apps coming to Android Auto, including navigation, parking, and electric vehicle charging apps. Starting today, developers everywhere can begin testing out these categories with the Android for Cars App Library open beta.
Boats use the same double-DIN head units that cars do, but it turns out that nobody had made an Android Auto unit for marine applications... until now. Boss Audio has just released a fully weatherproofed 6.75" 480p head unit capable of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, and it's actually pretty affordable at $289.99.
While compatibility with wireless Android Auto is expanding on phones, there are still many in-car head units and media players that are stuck using tethered connections. That's where a device called 'AAWireless' comes in, which aims to add wireless support to as many Android Auto units as possible.
A new settings and setup interface for Android Auto has been spotted rolling out. The changes aren't too drastic, but they do make for a smoother and slightly more attractive workflow, featuring a more general "connect a car" prompt with separate options for wired and wireless setup that follow.
The Polestar 2 is a very important vehicle. It's the first legitimate EV competitor to Tesla's Model 3, and Polestar's first mass-produced vehicle, both of which are incredible milestones. But we're taking a look at it from the perspective of another huge first: the debut of Google's Android Automotive, an in-car infotainment operating system designed to control everything from navigation and music to your air conditioning and traction control settings. Entrusting Google to build such a platform may sound a bit iffy if you're not familiar with the vehicle space, but if you are, you know automakers have been using Android for years, generally without Google's blessing (and often ludicrously old versions of the platform).
Android Auto has been getting more activity lately, including big changes like a return to calendar integration, and smaller adjustments that quietly pop up from time to time. If you regularly play music or podcasts, there's a chance you've already spotted the latest change that gives new track notifications a little more animation.
Android Auto has traditionally required connecting your phone to a car with a USB cable, but a wireless mode was introduced in 2018 for some Pixel phones. Samsung devices were later added to the compatibility list, and starting with Android 11, every Android phone that supports 5GHz Wi-Fi should be capable of running wireless Android Auto.
Even though people aren't driving as much these days, Google isn't tapping the brakes on the further development of Android Auto. The in-car interface got a new landscape map layout earlier this summer, and access to calendar appointments should be returning before too long. Now Google is announcing that new apps are coming to the platform in categories such as navigation, parking, and electric vehicle charging.
When you're running late to an appointment, or even just driving around town with several stops planned, the last thing you should do is reach for your phone to look up an address. When Android Auto was announced, this seemed to be the type of problem Google was trying to solve. An imperfect solution existed through Google Assistant, but it was removed without a good alternative to replace it. But things are looking up because Google is launching a calendar on Android Auto that gives you quick and easy access to your itinerary.
Virtually every major auto manufacturer has already incorporated Android Auto into their infotainment systems, leaving BMW as the final holdout. Although the company had claimed in 2017 that it had no plans to add Android Auto to their lineup, it must have changed its mind at some point, because it announced in December of last year that Android Auto would be coming in July 2020. Well, it's July 2020, and I can confirm that BMW has finally made this long-awaited Android Auto update available.