As of now, Google’s Android enjoys the highest share in the smartphone’s OS market worldwide followed by Apple’s iOS. To rule to roost, the search engine giant has finally announced the availability of its infotainment system – Android Auto – in India along with 17 more countries. This system first saw the light of the day at the Google I/O 2014 meet in June 2014. The Android Auto is compatible with Android 5.0 Lollipop and above versions.
Last year only, Mahindra became the first car manufacturer to use the Android Auto infotainment system for its XUV500 and Scorpio, followed by Hyundai who has promised to use the Android Auto alongside Apple CarPlay for its next-gen Elantra expected in the second half of this year. Maruti too will join the bandwagon soon, whereas some luxury brands, namely Audi, Volvo, Cadillac, Volkswagen, etc. are already offering Google’s Android Auto infotainment system with their offsprings. Soon the time will come when every car will come integrated with Android and iOS infotainment system.
Features such as calling, music playback, voice controls, messaging, maps, etc. are supportable in the Android Auto, thus making it simpler to use with user-friendly interface. This infotainment system will not work like MirrorLink system wherein the display of your car’s infotainment system will reflect your smartphone’s screen but it has is more useful than what expected.
Once you connect Google Android Auto with your smartphone, you can have access to apps like Google Maps, Music, phonebook, etc. You can control the Android Auto either through Google Now Voice Assistant, touchscreen controls or steering-mounted controls.
To use the Android Auto all you need to have is a compatible car infotainment system, an Android smartphone supporting version 5.0 or above, a USB port along with a USB cable. The system will show important information of the apps on the display screen of the touch-supported infotainment system, which are required at the time you are sitting behind the wheels. Apart from this, Android Auto will also display notifications of your smartphone in the card layout akin to what we have witnessed in Google Now and Android smartwatches.
The users will also get access to the more simplified version of Google Maps and easy access to the Google Play Music App so that you can entertain yourself while on the go. The USP of Android Auto over Apple CarPlay is that the former supports third party apps, which is missing from the latter. Also to reduce the reflection of the phone’s screen on the driver’s eyes, the system will lock the user’s phone for better driving experience.
Seeing the increasing market for Google’s Android, car stereo manufacturers such as Kenwood and Pioneer are also planning to introduce music system compatible with the Android Auto. Apart from India, the other countries that are getting the service of Google’s Android Auto include Switzerland, Russia, Colombia, Austria and Brazil among the others.