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Android Auto unveiled at Google I/O: what you need to know

Google's plans to bring Android to our cars has finally been unveiled. Here's what we know so far about Android Auto!
June 25, 2014
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The keynote address at this year’s Google I/O offered us some fantastic insight into what Google has in store for us in the future. Something that we were looking forward to, ever since Google’s announcement of the Open Automotive Alliance, is Google’s auto’s initiative.

Following a leak last week, we now have a lot more information about Google’s plans to bring Android to our cars. Here’s what we know so far.

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As expected, Android Auto is not an embedded OS, but is rather a “projected” system,” offering a way for drivers to interact and control their Android smartphones using the car’s own screen and controls, even though the apps are running on the phone.

Android Auto is contextually aware, so it knows when you’re in the car and presents a simplified interface of the new Android L release, with just a few important buttons that are relevant to what you need in the car.

Android Auto runs on the mobile device, but mirrors its interface onto a touchscreen in the vehicle’s dashboard. The user can then interact with Android using the touch screen, the buttons on the steering wheel, or through voice commands. Everything is projected on the display in your car in the form of Google Now cards, including apps like Maps, controlling your music through a simplified Google Play Music interface, and more.

Maps are completely voice controlled, with access to all the features available through Google Maps, including live traffic info, searching for locations using Voice Search, and, of course, navigation. Incoming messages also show up in heads up notifications, and users can read them through text-to-speech. Sending a message is also completely done using voice controls, which means you’ll never have to take your hands off the wheel.  

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Over 40 new partners have joined the Open Automotive Alliance, with 25 car brands looking to ship cars with Android Auto by the end of the year, including Acura, Alfa Romeo, Audi, Bentley, Chevrolet, Chrysler, Dodge, Fiat, Ford, Honda, Mazda, Subaru, Volkswagen, Renault, Maserati, Infiniti, and Jeep.

Android Auto will be available along the L release of Android in the fall. Check out the video below to find out more about Android Auto.

Stay tuned as we continue to bring you more from Google I/O 2014!