Android Auto is a driving companion app for car entertainment and navigation head units. It is developed by Google and can be used with smartphones running Android OS. It aims at a distraction-free driving experience while trying to provide what is necessary. This technology is already available in 36 countries, including India, as of April 2020. Currently, this technology has access to music, calls, messaging and etc. from the phone and can control car audio systems. But in the future, we can expect this technology to have access to vehicle data such as sensor inputs and outputs, fuel levels, wheel speed, high-quality car GPS antenna, directional speakers, etc. The list here might be finite, but the capability is beyond. We have seen Android OS evolve. Android Auto will also evolve in a similar way.
Android Auto is a great feature. It is very useful while driving. This becomes a perfect replacement for Apple’s CarPlay for iPhones. In this article, we will be explaining everything that you should know about Android Auto and how to use Android Auto in your car.
How does Android Auto work?
Android Auto works as a casting function from your phone. But, this doesn’t cast the whole screen as it would do with a screen mirroring software or HDMI screen connection. Instead, this only shows few-important apps, like in Google Now. Install the Android Auto app from Google Play store and connect your phone with a USB cable to a compatible system head in your car and click on the Android Auto icon from the dash screen. Android Auto screen will open in your dash. This app supports both touch panel and key (button) based head unit systems.
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Although, using voice commands for controlling the system is highly recommended to minimalize distraction. The unit just acts as an external controller for your phone. Hence accessing your contacts and messages is easy and works seamlessly. It also links directly to your accounts like Google, Spotify, etc. Hence it can play your favorite songs and songs from your playlists.
What are its features and benefits?
Android Auto connects your phone to your car’s in-dash entertainment system. With this, you can use Android Auto compatible apps such as Google Maps, Google Play Music, Spotify, etc. In addition, you can also control calls and messages directly from the dash without any distractions while driving. Everything here is designed for drivers’ ease of use. The core feature of this technology is using Google Assistance with the help of in-steering control buttons. You can activate the Google Assistant and start using it with the help of voice commands.
How to use Android Auto?
If your car’s in-dash system supports Android Auto, you can use it with your phone. For this, download Android Auto from Google Play store and connect your phone to the dash using USB cables. After that, open the Android Auto app on the phone and also click on the Android Auto icon on your dash’s screen.
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This will open a quick menu for controls from where you can open your favorite music apps like Spotify, YT music, etc. straight from the dash. Hence, you can open your favorite app and start playing music. This currently supports a limited number of apps. But we will be able to see more in the near future. You can control media playback of your favorite streaming services like Spotify or Gaana directly from the dash or even using physical buttons available in your steering wheels. Also, you can ask Google assistant to play specific songs.
Similarly, you can use the assistant to make calls for you, read text messages just received, or send text messages to anyone in your contacts. Click on the assistant button on your steering or on your dash screen and say your commands like “Call Dad” or “Message Alex” it will do it for you. It utilizes your phone’s internet connection since it’s just your phone running on your dash.
Is using Android Auto beneficial?
Most definitely, the answer is yes. Distractions while driving leads to road accidents. So, by minimizing interaction with devices, while behind the wheels, we can reduce distractions. Here’s where Google’s voice commands shine. You can go fully hands-free and concentrate on driving. Just like asking your friend to do controls for you
Google’s voice command, combined with Google Maps, could be a powerful tool to have while driving. Google Maps is familiar with many people, so it will be easy to use. Especially, its step by step, voice-guided navigation will surely come in handy I’m finding shortcuts, new routes, and locating services like a gas station or food & restaurants. The app can utilize specials sensors in your phone like a gyroscope or a magnetometer (Compass) and provide a much useful navigation system. Still way ahead of the native solution provided by the stock car manufacturer.
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People who live a busy life can’t afford to disconnect from communication even when driving, due to business calls and texts—but texting or calling while driving is dangerous and is an offense in many countries. So, Android Auto serves as a perfect solution for those people. Android Auto aims at eliminating distractions while driving and lets the driver concentrate.
This technology can be expanded with the help of accessing car data such as sensors and give personalized, circumstance based solutions for drivers. For instance, the app can enable the “Do not disturb” mode automatically while in heavy traffic situations. We can expect such features in the near future. Google currently released supports (APIs) for music and communication. They promised to develop more supports for developers to bring their app to the Android Auto platform.
In this rush life, there is always a need for apps and technologies that make life easier. Android Auto is also such technology. Safety is most important when it comes to driving. Since it affects not only you but also the people who are traveling along with you, both inside and outside of your vehicle, so everyone should act responsibly and avoid taking calls or texting while driving. Although this technology can be very useful, we should always drive safely.
FAQ: Learn more about Android Auto
Android Auto is a driving companion app with technology developed by Google which enables smartphones to connect to the car display system and works as a casting function. But, this doesn’t cast the whole screen as it would do with a screen mirroring software or HDMI screen connection.
If your car’s in-dash system supports Android Auto, you can use it with your phone. For this, download Android Auto from Google play store and connect your phone to the dash using USB cables.
Most definitely, the answer is yes. Distractions while driving leads to road accidents. So, by minimizing interaction with devices, while behind the wheels, we can reduce distractions.
Android Auto is an advanced technology that is not available on every single cars. In case, if you are scratching your head to learn about the vehicle compatibility, then check on the official car webpage or Android Auto webpage.
Unfortunately, car manufacturers keeping Android Auto function disabled by default, and you need to enable it manually. The user-interface differs from one vehicle to another motor vehicle, but you should be able to find it after exploring through the settings after installing Android Auto on your phone.
Android management reached out hundreds of popular vehicle manufacturers for collaboration. Google ahead of Apple in terms of collaboration and open projects, and they tied up with hundreds of car manufacturers and it supports more cars.