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Google opens the door for Android Auto developers with first APIs

Google has now opened the door for Android Auto app development with the release of the platform's first APIs.

Published onNovember 18, 2014

Back at June’s I/O conference, Google showcased three young yet ambitious extensions of the Android experience: Android Wear, Android TV and Android Auto. Since then, we’ve seen several Android Wear devices roll out in both square and circular formats, and the Nexus Player has debuted as the world’s first Android TV-based media player. What of Android Auto, when will its moment in the sun come?

Google has now announced that the first APIs for building Auto-enabled apps have arrived

While Google has already teamed up with numerous partners for the effort, the first automobiles to feature the technology aren’t expected until very late this year, with a bigger push coming in 2015. In anticipation of Android Auto’s launch, however, Google has now announced that the first APIs for building Auto-enabled apps have arrived, giving devs the opportunity to dive in and ensure compatibility for tomorrow’s smarter Android-enhanced vehicles.

Similar to Android Wear, Android Auto isn’t meant as a stand-alone experience. Instead, vehicles with Android Auto support make it easy to connect Android phones and tablets. Once connected, compatible Android apps can be utilized via the car’s heads unit display, the car’s integrated steer wheel buttons and so forth.

As it stands, Google is currently support just two use cases for Android Wear:

  • Audio apps that expose content for users to browse and allow audio playback from the car, such as music, podcasts, news, etc.
  • Messaging apps that receive incoming notifications, read messages aloud, and send replies via voice from the car.

While Google may eventually extend this functionality, it’s important to remember that Google designed Android Auto to be as simple and unobtrusive as possible, as to limit distractions for drivers.

For developers interested in the potential of Android Auto, you can learn more by visiting Google’s blog post, as well as taking a look at their new “Getting Started” guide. For consumers, the big takeaway is that Android Auto is coming and that Google is working hard to entice developers. It’s also worth mentioning that Google says it is already working with a number of partners on Android Auto app experiences including iHeartRadio, Joyride, NPR, Pandora, Songza, Spotify, TuneIn, WhatsApp and several others.

Are you excited for the future of Android Auto? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.