From commute to cruise: YouTube will soon be available in Android Automotive cars
Google has been making significant strides in the in-car infotainment system with the latest updates to both Android Auto and Android Automotive. The search engine giant has recently introduced a series of improvements to the two systems, offering users more features and better account integration. These updates were unveiled at the Google I/O 2023 event, where Google showcased the latest developments in its automotive technology.
Android Auto and Android Automotive are two systems with a similar name, but they differ in functionality. Android Auto projects content from a user’s phone onto the car display, while Android Automotive is an operating system built straight into the car as the primary infotainment system. With Android Automotive, users can enjoy an enhanced in-car experience without the need for a connected phone. Google collectively refers to these systems as Android for Cars.
Android Auto is the current integration tool that most Android users utilize to connect their mobile devices to their cars. According to Google, Android Auto will be available in nearly 200 million cars by the end of the year. Although some car manufacturers have moved away from offering Android Auto and CarPlay, millions of users still integrate with their cars using this system.
At the Google I/O 2023 event, the updates to Android Auto were relatively minor. The latest updates now include support for conferencing apps like Zoom and Microsoft Teams, which allows users to control calls and hear audio from meetings straight from their car display.
The updates to Android cars, on the other hand, are more extensive. Google has introduced a host of new features to the operating system that will significantly enhance the in-car experience.
Some of these features include:
Waze: Finally, Waze is rolling out to all cars that have Android and will be available through the Play Store. This integration allows users to navigate through traffic and find alternative routes quickly. Additionally, it now includes new EV-focused features like the ability to look up charging stations that support your car’s plug type.
YouTube: YouTube will now be available as an app for cars in the Google Play Store. Initially, it’ll only be available in Polestar cars, but it’ll come to other cars soon, according to Google. YouTube will likely be locked when the car is in motion and allowed to run when the car is in park.
Game Snacks: This is currently available on Android Auto and runs small games. However, it’s also coming to Android cars, offering drivers and passengers a fun and engaging way to pass the time on long journeys.
Google Assistant smart suggestions: Google is rolling out smart suggestions for Android cars, allowing drivers to respond quickly and easily to messages while driving.
These updates to Android Automotive make the operating system more full-featured, which is a great thing. With car software becoming increasingly important, many carmakers are realizing that they don’t want to be software companies. Instead, they are turning to systems like Android Automotive to offer their customers a better in-car experience.
In conclusion, Google’s recent updates to Android Auto and Android have significantly improved the in-car experience. Android Automotive is becoming increasingly full-featured, making it a top choice for many carmakers. With Google’s commitment to developing these systems further, we can expect even more innovative features in the future.