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Android Auto – Riding with Google

By offering Android Auto Google is entering the service industry of the new cars through the backdoor. Starting with Google Maps, Music, most likely soon to include other services.

Hit the road with Android Auto

Android Auto is already supported by a number of car manufacturers to include Audi, Chevrolet, Ford, Fiat, Hyundai, Honda and many more.

In November 2016 Google updated the Android App to the 2.0 version and it runs on any Android Phone (min Android 5.0) and compatible car.

The app is mostly constructed around navigation, calls and media. The functionality and usability is simplified but it serves its purpose – meaning it’s adjusted to a busy driver, who can’t afford too many distractions.

Voice commands and recognition works well and it’s a great way to navigate the app, answer text messages, Telegram or WhatsApp.

Google Maps is great and here Google has an edge over the other providers of navigation system, of course as long as you are connected to the internet, which is required by Google Maps. This could be a show stopper in cases where you have to pay the data roaming charges.

Final thoughts

Android Auto is definitely a step in the right direction in terms of integration of a smartphone in the car, it works well, it’s useful and beats any native car interface. In the end it’s hard to imagine Audi or BMW coming up with something better than Google.

The downside is of course the need for constant internet connection, which is unlikely to be a problem long-term. For those concerned about the data, it’s also important to know that Google will collect your location information and even more about your behaviours.