At the start of this year, Google announced it was working on Assistant devices for your car. The idea is to bring the same convenience of an always-listening smart speaker into your vehicle of choice, without requiring an expensive Android Auto head unit. The first product in this category is the Anker Roav Bolt, a small device that plugs into a car charging port.
I was very excited to try out the Roav Bolt, after years of dealing with annoying adapters and Bluetooth receivers in my Android Auto-less car. I've always had issues with my phone hearing voice commands while I'm driving, even when using a vent mount. Read More
Volvo has just taken the wraps off of the Polestar 2, an all-electric sedan-crossover thing intended to go head-to-head with the Tesla Model 3. The affordable electric car aspect isn't the only talking point of this; it's also the first vehicle with Google's deeply-integrated Android Automotive infotainment system. Read More
JBL is bringing Google Assistant everywhere this year, from speakers to soundbars, displays, headphones, and more. The latest addition to its line-up, the JBL Link Drive, is meant to help you use Google Assistant while driving, but without taking your eyes off the road or fiddling with your phone. Read More
Toyota is one of the few car major manufacturers that have refused to add support for Android Auto, along with BMW, MINI, and Lexus. However, that might finally be changing. According to Bloomberg, Toyota has reached an agreement with Google that may be officially announced as soon as October. Read More
In theory, Android Auto is a fantastic idea. It brings a unified UI, Google's class-leading Maps, and seamless integration with your music, notifications, and calls to any car or head unit that supports it. But aside from the various bugs and issues that seem to continually crop up, I'd argue that Android Auto's biggest downside is having to plug and unplug your phone whenever you enter and exit your car. As a result, many people, including myself, were pretty excited to see wireless Android Auto debut at CES this year with new head units from JVC and Kenwood.
A few months later, Pioneer announced two of its own wireless Android Auto head units: the $700 AVH-W4400NEX and the $1,200 AVIC-W8400NEX. Read More
Google launched its own Podcasts app back in June. It's a pretty well-rounded app with over 2 million indexed podcasts and a nice UI, but it was missing one thing that any Google-made audio app should support: Android Auto. We first noticed a 'Google' option popping up in Auto a few weeks ago, though it doesn't really work unless you start a podcast from your phone. That's probably about to change. Read More
There are plenty of ways to extend the 'smart' functionality in your car. You can buy a dashcam, buy a Bluetooth adapter for the AUX port, use an OBD app to diagnose problems from your phone, or connect a tracking device. Raven, a new 'connected car system,' aims to integrate all of that into one single device. Read More