If you've read any of my articles on Android Auto, you'll know that my thoughts - for the sake of brevity - are that it's just kind of OK. This is because Android Auto's philosophy of projection via smartphone over USB and Bluetooth is inherently limited in what it can actually do with a vehicle. And so, many of you have asked on Auto articles I've written in the past: "Why doesn't Google just build an Android Car OS?" While Google may not have been listening per se, they definitely had the same idea, and have created just that. You can also check out our video quickly going over the concept below. Read More
The past year has been good for Android. As Google likes to do during each of its annual developer conferences, it happily boasted about a few numbers. Engineering Vice President Dave Burke appeared happy to give the news.
Companies launched over 600 phones in the past year. During this time, Android users installed apps over 65 billion times. Read More
Ever wonder how Android Police always knows right away when Google makes a new country available for any of its services? It's simple! We pick whichever intern has been annoying us this week, chain sit him down in front of a computer, and make him reload Google Support pages like this one once every thirty seconds. When he sees a change, no matter how tiny, he bangs a pot with a wooden spoon, thus alerting one of our diligent writers to take a look at the page. If something of substance has changed, like a new country being added to Google's list of officially supported Android Auto countries, we write it up. Read More
Android Auto continues to gain momentum as automakers search for a relatively easy and inexpensive way to equip their cars with electronics that work with customers' smartphones. South Korean auto company Kia previously committed to the platform on a handful of its cars, at least according to the official Android Auto website, but that list has been considerably expanded as of the latest update. The latest version lists nearly twenty models that will have Android Auto capability, including several 2014-2016 models that will receive it as an update. Read More
A couple of days ago, Google revamped the Android Wear website to make it more interactive and today it's rolling out an update to another website: Android Auto. This time though, it's not the whole site that's getting completely overhauled, just the section at the bottom for supported manufacturers.
Previously, that only listed car and head unit manufacturers with links to their websites' landing pages - not even a specific Android Auto section on their site. Now, that list has been moved to the second Brands tab, with a new Models tab taking the first place. This has a list of all manufacturers with the exact models of cars and head units that support Auto. Read More
Android Auto? On my Mazda? Before you get too excited by that title, let me drop a couple of ice cubes in that piping hot cup of excitement: this is exceptionally buggy. With that disclaimer out of the way, yep, some clever individuals have managed to reverse-engineer Android Auto's head unit bits to run on newer Mazda CMU (infotainment) systems, and if you're feeling adventurous, you can get in on the action.
The issue is that, well, it's kind of broken in lots of ways. And I mean virtually everything is subject to bugs, crashes, and various strange issues, like the fact that the CMU system permanently thinks it's midnight on January 1st, 1970 when in Android Auto and thus Auto is always in its night mode layout. Read More
There's no shortage of Internet radio options available on the Play Store, but we're still waiting for all of them to get on the bus (so to speak) with Android Auto. Today Deezer, another streaming radio option, gets official support for Android Auto baked into the Android app. It's live in the Play Store now, though it may take a while for the rollout to reach every user. According to the change log, Android Auto support is only available for users who subscribe to Deezer's Premium+ option.
Deezer's Android Auto interface allows users to start "Flow" radio, mixes, playlists, or albums directly from the Auto menu, plus all of the standard playback management options. Read More
Audible makes audio books more convenient than most other sources thanks to its integration with Amazon Kindle, but it was not very convenient for Android Auto users until now. The app has finally been updated for Google's car interface, but there are a few other notable improvements too. Read More
Looking for Android Auto on a budget? While I still recommend the Volkswagen Jetta, there's going to be an even wallet-friendlier four-door sedan with Auto on the block soon. The Jetta, with delivery, rings up around $21,000 all in for the least expensive model with Android Auto, but the new Hyundai Elantra will set you back ten fewer Benjamins, at around $20,000 with delivery ($19,785 to be precise).
The 2017 Elantra goes on sale in the next couple of months in the US - before spring rolls around - and Android Auto is a mere $800 upgrade on the base SE (automatic) trim, which nets you the aforementioned Auto, plus Apple CarPlay, a rearview camera, automatic headlights, 16" alloys, steering wheel media controls, cruise control, Bluetooth, heated outboard mirrors, and a hood insulator, which is apparently something some car manufacturers aren't including on every single car in 2016? Read More