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Android Auto

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Google Releases Android Auto Desktop Head Unit, A Fully Operational Emulator For Auto App Development

One of the biggest challenges to creating good apps for Android Auto has been actually testing the experience. Many independent developers can't afford to purchase brand new cars with Auto built-in, and aftermarket head units won't fit in most recently manufactured cars without heavy modification, and most of those units aren't very good anyway. When the Auto SDK came out, it included simulators that could be used for basic testing of just the messaging and media browser interfaces, but even these weren't good substitutes for the real thing. Today, Google released the Android Auto Desktop Head Unit, a functioning implementation of the Android Auto platform that runs right on a desktop or laptop.

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Android Auto Updated To v1.2 With A Tweaked Home Screen And Expanded Music/Navigation Notifications

The Android Auto app is getting an update to v1.2, and there are some notable changes this time, mostly revolving around the home screen. Google has posted a changelog in the Play Store, but it only tells part of the story.

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Modders Can Now Boot Custom ROMs From The SD Card Reader On Pioneer Android Auto Head Units

You knew this was coming sooner or later. Android Auto has been viewed as a mostly closed system, if not by nature of the software itself (which is technically open source) then by the fact that it's an extension of Android running on a big chunk of metal installed in your car. But some intrepid developers over on enthusiast forum AVIC411 have discovered a way to boot software directly from the SD card slot on Pioneer's NEX series of aftermarket Android Auto head units. That paves the way for custom ROMs in your car, or at least your car's entertainment system.

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Parrot Decides Its Crazy-Complex, Probably Crazy-Expensive Android Auto Head Unit Is Too Complex, Expensive For You To Buy

Back in January at CES 2015, French tech company Parrot announced an Android Auto head unit to end all Android Auto head units. At least, that's what it looked like. Parrot never announced pricing or availability for the RNB6 (catchy name!), and all news about it pretty much fell to the wayside post-show. To be fair, this happens frequently with Parrot products - the company uses trade shows to gauge interest in what are, essentially, working prototypes, and then decides whether or not they're worth making.

The RNB6, Parrot has concluded, is not the sort of thing they want to sell to consumers.

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Sigh: Announcement Suggests Toyota Will Probably Not Use Android Auto In 2016 Model Year Vehicles

Toyota is at this point already known as something of an opponent to Android Auto, and a new press release today seems to confirm that the company's commitment to not using Google or Apple's connected car systems is ongoing. Additionally, multiple websites have confirmed with Telenav and Toyota that this is essentially seen as an "alternative" to the Auto/CarPlay approach.

A partnership with a company called Telenav will allow Toyota owners to connect their smartphones to their vehicle in order to project a third-party navigation app onto their... I'm sorry, what were we talking about? I've never felt myself losing interest in something so quickly.

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Audiobooks.com Becomes The First Audio Book App With Android Auto Support

The media playback situation on Android Auto is not great, but it's a little better today now that Audiobooks.com works in the car. This is somehow the first audio book source with proper support for Google's car platform. Hey Audible, maybe you want to get on that too? Thanks.

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[Hands-On] Volkswagen Officially Unveils Android Auto On Upcoming 2016 Models, Some Hitting US Dealers Within Days

At an event in California earlier today, Volkswagen officially announced that upcoming 2016 VW models will be Android Auto-ready. Which models? For now, what we know is this: most model year 2016 VWs at "SE" trim and above will likely pack the generation two MIB infotainment system, which has Android Auto (and Apple CarPlay). There are 6.5" and 8" versions of MIB 2, but both offer the same Auto experience.

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[Hands-On] Honda Announces Its First Car With Android Auto - The 2016 Accord

As the year goes on, more and more automakers are announcing vehicles with Android Auto, and Honda joined the club today with the refreshed 2016 Accord.

The new Accord will be arriving soon at American dealerships (how soon, we're not sure), and it will be among the very first cars to ship with both Android Auto and Apple Car Play here in the US. Currently, no on-sale vehicle is offered with both, and some upcoming cars won't get both until dealer-installed software updates are made available.

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The 2016 Accord is the second model to use Honda's new Android-powered infotainment experience (not to be confused with Android Auto), which proves to be a vast step up from previous iterations of Honda's system, with smooth 60FPS graphics and better performance overall.

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[APK Teardown] Google Play Services v7.8 Makes Significant Progress On New Location Sharing Feature, Improves Smart Lock Features, And More

The long-awaited Nearby is on the horizon, and it will be launching with Play Services 7.8. The APK is in the midst of its rollout right now. It contains a few elements of Nearby, and surely plenty of bug fixes and tweaks, but there are also plenty of interesting pieces hidden inside, as well. After a quick long examination, we've got the interesting bits and pieces ready for viewing, along with some theories about what it all means. It's time for a teardown!

TeardownHero

Disclaimer: Teardowns are necessarily speculative and usually based on incomplete evidence. It's possible that the guesses made here are totally and completely wrong.
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[Deal Alert] Pioneer Offers $75 Rebate On Its AVH-4100NEX Android Auto Unit, Which Abt Electronics Is Selling For $518.35

For many of us, the question isn't whether we want Android Auto, it's whether we're willing to spend the money it takes to set things up in the car we already own. Doing so is an investment that can easily cost over a grand, and that's a lot to pay for the luxury of not having to look at your phone to do the same functionality. Fortunately, some prices have been dropping.

Pioneer is currently offering a $75 rebate on AVH-4100NEX head units sold through authorized retailers. Walmart is one such retailer, and it's selling the hardware for $530.

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