If you think it looks like a miniature Echo Dot for your car, you're basically spot on. The Garmin Speak is a GPS navigation unit with Amazon Alexa built-in. It was announced yesterday and is the first in-car device of its kind to add Alexa capabilities. At just an inch and a half, it's tiny, and yet it offers the same turn-by-turn GPS navigation as Garmin's other products while also including Amazon's smart assistant. Read More
If you've ever sampled the BBC's excellent radio output, there's one app you really need in your life: BBC iPlayer Radio. It's a one-stop shop for all BBC radio shows, from sport to comedy to current affairs, and while the app may have its quirks, it's still a mostly good experience on Android.
The latest update to the app includes support for Google's in-car OS Android Auto (as well as Apple CarPlay), so you can more easily and safely listen to your favorite shows while you're behind the wheel. According to the BBC, 22 million people listen to its radio shows when driving, and a good number of those are likely to have Android Auto installed in their cars, so this will be good news for many. Read More
It's 2017, and we still don't have commercial flying cars, affordable jet-packs, or even automated package delivery. But thanks to HUDWAY, at least one sci-fi mainstay has made its way into the consumer market. Today the company launched a Kickstarter for its newest product, an affordable heads-up display called the HUDWAY Cast. Read More
A new update to Google Maps is rolling out to the beta channel members right now, and like so many previous releases, there are a few new features to check out. First, the Q&A feature from the last teardown of Maps is live. Drivers will soon be able to see a monthly report of their behavior right inside the app. If you're running an Android O developer preview, the first thing you can look forward to is the addition of Picture-in-Picture support. Also for Android O are a pair of new notification channels to get better control over navigation-specific information. Read More
If you enjoy listening to music or podcasts while driving, you may be using Android Auto and Google Maps in conjunction with Google Play Music, Pocket Casts, or Spotify. But those of you who prefer Waze for directions and traffic updates may often find themselves juggling it alongside their audio app throughout the drive. That's neither easy nor safe, but it's about to get better.
Spotify and Waze are partnering up to make each app's main features easily accessible in the other. You can start a Waze navigation and see turn-by-turn directions within Spotify, and you can access your Spotify playlists and control playback within Waze. Read More
A dashcam is one of those things that seems only slightly important until about five minutes after a fender-bender, wherein it becomes retroactively essential. Even so, those dashboard-mounted cameras don't grown on trees, so most cars in the US still aren't equipped with them. Nexar, a new Android app that's currently in "unreleased" status on the Play Store, aims to fix that. It turns any Android device into an AI-powered dash cam - all you need is Android 4.1 or later, a rear camera, and some way to mount it in your vehicle. Read More
Until such time as Uber can replace human drivers with robots (and it really wants to), it has to deal with people doing stupid things on the road. In an effort to make Uber safer for passengers, the company will start reminding its drivers about safety measures in the Uber app. This program will launch in 11 cities over the coming weeks, and more cities will be added soon. Read More
Using your phone while on the road is extremely dangerous. A safer way to stay connected is to use a hands-free kit. This is great if you want to make calls, but less helpful if you're dependent on the myriad of messaging services currently in use.
Enter Drivemode, which has been kicking around the Google Play Store for some time now. At a very fundamental level, it provides a gesture interface for a number of apps and system functions, essentially allowing you to safely use your phone without even looking at the screen. It also supports the composition and sending of SMS messages through voice recognition. Read More