BMW was one of the last automakers to add Android Auto to its vehicles, and owners with compatible cars still have to go to the dealer to get the update. That's changing soon, though; BMW has just announced that an over-the-air update will start rolling out "over the coming weeks."
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.
Android Auto has been available for almost five years, and most automakers have gotten on board. BMW was a notable holdout, but that'll change next year. The company has announced Android Auto support for many of its vehicles, and it'll have wireless mode.
In a Hyundai first, the company has released a digital car key app aptly called the Hyundai Digital Key in the Play Store. The app will allow owners to control their cars using an Android smartphone and share a virtual car key with up to four users, but it only supports the upcoming 2020 Hyundai Sonata sedan for now.
Given the sheer amount of cars that now support Android Auto, you might be surprised to learn that the in-car software isn't actually supported everywhere. Today there are 40 countries that Android Auto is officially available in, with four of those added today and four added late last year.
Google has shown off Android Automotive a few times in the last couple of years, but you haven't been able to buy any cars with Google's fully integrated version of Android. That will change soon, but things will kick into high-gear in 2021 thanks to a partnership with GM. This might not be the first time we get to see Android Automotive in a real vehicle, but it could be what pushes it into the mainstream.
It's common for automakers to offer apps that pair with your car, but few of them are as integral to the driving experience as Tesla's app. That's usually a good thing, but it's a bit of a nuisance right now. Tesla's car app has vanished from the Play Store without warning. You can still get it if you know where to look, though.
Google started rolling out the new Android Auto earlier this month, and it's an overall improvement. You should have the updated interface already, but we've heard from a number of Android Auto users who haven't seen the update appear automatically. Luckily, there's a quick fix.
Android Auto has just gotten its first significant update since the platform launched way back in 2015, and it's long overdue. The new Android Auto blends better with car interiors, and the controls take into account how people use infotainment systems. It also surfaces some Assistant features with the help of the revamped interface. There's a lot going on, but here are the five key new features that make the updated Auto something to care about.