Android Auto is about to be used by a lot more car owners. Google is rolling out an update to the official Android Auto app that will allow its vehicle-based UI to run on any Android phone with Lollipop installed or higher. The company first announced its plans to offer this update back in May during its Google I/O developer conference.
In a blog post, Google stated this update was made for anyone who either mounts their smartphone on their car’s dashboard, or connects the phone to a dashboard display. It will allow those car owners to access the driver-friendly interface of Android Auto. The three main features of the app are hands-free phone calls and messages with voice commands, access to turn-by-turn directions with Google Maps, and the ability to stream music with apps like Spotify, Pandora, and of course Google Play Music. While it’s not part of this new update, Google says they plan to offer improvements to the Android Auto app in the coming weeks that will allow users to access features like maps, music and messaging by saying, “Ok Google.”
The app itself will be able to start automatically when it is paired with a Bluetooth device. For people who mount their smartphone on their dashboard, Google recommends that they use a Bluetooth-enabled car mount such as Logitech’s SmartCar. The new app will be available in the 30 countries where Android Auto is currently supported.
If you own a car and a smartphone, would you consider using the new Android Auto app while you are driving?