Android Auto: Driving Down the Road to the Future
Some of you reading this will already know what Android Auto is but if you’re not familiar with it or want to learn more about what it can do for you then you’re in the right place.
Android Auto is a new standard developed by Google which will allow mobile devices running Android L and later to operate with your car through the dashboards head unit or deck as it’s sometimes referred to.
You simply connect your phone or other mobile device (running android L) to the dashboards head unit and Voilà! The head unit will now serve as your phones external display for your Android device.
So what’s so great about that you may ask, well with the car specific user interface your mobile device can now have GPS Mapping and Navigation, Music control, Telephony and SMS composition and playback as well as the ability to surf the web and check your e-mail. Basically everything you can do on your phone is now available in your car and you can even use it to check on your cars systems and maintenance requirements such as when your next oil change is due.
But how can I do this while driving my car. This is the beauty of the system, you can now use the Google Voice Search talk to you car, literally.
Just take a minute to think about that. I remember watching Star Trek as a child and seeing Scotty talk to the Enterprise computer, well we don’t quite have an intergalactic starship at our control but none the less it opens up a world of opportunities.
You can ask your car what Italian restaurants are in the area and then get directions, or find out where the nearest hotel, mechanics or supermarket is without touching a button.
How about if you’re running late for meetings, or need to respond to an e-mail, well don’t worry, you’ll be able to dictate a message or setup a conference call while cruising along and with Google reminders your you can have the best route to that meeting plotted out for you so you needed miss an of those pressing engagements again.
This Technology is still in its infancy but there are some 25 car manufactures working with Google including the likes of Bentley and Chevrolet,to help integrate this into their vehicles. Google has also announced it will release an Android Auto Software Development Kit (SDK) to developers soon so as they can modify their apps to work on this new system.
This puts Google and Apple head to head in a two horse race to see who will come out on top of the car market and by the end of the 2014 we should start to see Android Auto in a range of cars. If you can’t afford to buy a new car then don’t fret, it should be compatible with some older systems as well.
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