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Android Auto

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Google rolls out new media and messaging features to Android Auto

In case you missed the APK Teardown yesterday, Google has made several new features official in Android Auto today. The message preview and new media UI from the teardown are on the docket, but Google also made some tweaks to media search and group messaging in the car. As always, Google says it has worked to add more convenience features without sacrificing safety. I've been using the updated Android Auto for the last week, and while it's a minor update, there are a few nice additions.

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Android Auto is now available in additional Mazda models through a pricey dealer-installed upgrade

Manufacturer infotainment systems are, by and large, not good. More and more automakers are picking up the standardized solutions of Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, which is s step in the right direction. Mazda started shipping the interface in some new vehicles this year, and now dealerships will be able to install it in model year 2014 or newer Mazdas.

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[Update: Supported models] Jaguar and Land Rover confirm 2019 vehicles will get Android Auto

Most automakers moved surprisingly fast to adopt Android Auto (and CarPlay) over the last couple years. That's in spite of the fact that Android Auto makes it harder to sell spendy navigation-enabled infotainment upgrades. Still, it's taken some longer than others to come around. Toyota is expected to roll out Android Auto next year, and now we have confirmation that both Jaguar and Land Rover will follow suit.

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[Update: Models] Android Auto is coming to Mazda cars with MZD Connect next month in Europe

Mazda said last year that Android Auto would be making its way to its vehicles — sometime. Now we now when: the automaker has announced that in August, an update is coming to its MZD Connect infotainment system that will allow for the use of Android Auto.

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Maps on Android Auto is getting a new layout and Material makeover

When you're hopping into your car and starting up navigation with Google Maps, you might be in for a surprise as the UI is getting some pretty significant changes. This isn't just about adding rounded corners or tweaking some colors, a few parts of the UI have been moved around and behave a bit differently, so your muscle memory might work against you for a little while as you get adjusted.

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Toyota reportedly agrees to support Android Auto

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.

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[Update: Leaves beta, available for all] Apple Music is privately testing Android Auto integration in v2.6.0 beta

It may not be the most loved music service on Android, but Apple Music is certainly an appealing choice, especially for those who live in countries where YouTube Music (né Google Play Music) and Spotify aren't available. When I reviewed it back in 2015, I loved a lot of its features, but I eventually had to give up on it because it wasn't compatible with many other things I often use: Android Auto, Chromecast, and Google Home. But there's hope on the horizon, at least for the first one of those three.

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Google just struck a deal with a major auto alliance to run Android on millions of future cars

Google's been at work on infiltrating the automotive industry for a long time. It's managed to wedge its foot firmly in the door with Android Auto, which runs on a wide range of in-market cars from popular brands — but that was never the ultimate goal. After all, Android Auto essentially just mirrors features from an Android device to car's infotainment system, it's not Android running on a car. The latter, more desirable implementation is (somewhat confusingly) called Android Automotive. The Mountain View tech giant showed off its ambitions for this platform at I/O 2018. Now, it's clear the hype was justified; Google has announced a partnership with massive carmaking alliance Renault-Nissan-Mitsubishi to run Android Automotive-powered infotainment systems in millions of cars beginning 2021.

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Android Auto is now available on more than 500 car models and head units

Google has been consistently updating its Android Auto compatibility lists every few weeks for quite some time now. Back in October of last year, the amount of car models and head units with Android Auto crossed 400, which is no small feat. Almost a year later, that figure has grown by another hundred.

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[Update: Pioneer models back] Android Auto arrives on new cars from VW, Audi, Kia, and many more

Every few weeks for so, Google updates the Android Auto website with a list of newly-supported cars. This time around, though, there are far more cars (and head units) than usual from a wide variety of brands that have just had AA support added.

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