It is clear that Google wants to bring Android everywhere, not just smart watches (like the LG G Watch or the Motorola Moto 360), televisions and TV boxes (with Android TV), but also to cars, not they could be left behind.
During Google I / O, Google announced Android Auto, the new platform for cars that seeks to integrate your phone with Android car dashboard to provide many of the features you already enjoy on your mobile device, but so as to limit distractions while driving while you get the information you want and need.
To convert your phone into the computer center of the car, you need to connect the mobile device to the vehicle with a USB cable or via Bluetooth.
Google said the first car with Android Auto will arrive later this year, but most will be here in 2015. Some of the brands that will integrate Android Auto in their new models are Honda, Audi, Renault, Ford, Chevrolet, Hyundai, Mazda and Kia.
Android Auto interface keeps the same familiar design of Android and Google different services, but simplified to provide larger text and a slightly more graphical interface. All this is mainly to ensure that the driver is not distracted when driving.
Depending on the vehicle manufacturer, Android Auto can be controlled from the touch screen panel, from the steering wheel controls or other controls integrated into the vehicle. Likewise, the sound function through the sound system installed in the car.
It also integrates Google voice recognition to allow the user does not always have to press buttons, move controls or the touch screen panel of the vehicle. This means that you can ask directions, answer text messages, search for places you want to go or to know more information, among many other things.
At the bottom is a bar with five icons representing the five sections of Android Auto: Navigation, Communications, Overview, Media and Applications.
The Home screen Google Android Auto Auto is now called Android Overview. There are a number of similar to Google Now cards. For example, it shows you the time you would take to get to your house, contacts you call most often or music you play now.
You can also view information about your cell signal, battery and time. And you find a microphone to enable voice search, even if you have a dedicated steering wheel of the car will be much easier to turn those voice commands from there button. The icon representing the Home screen is in the middle of the bottom bar of the Android interface Auto.
Google Maps navigation is probably one of the functions that we use in our cell phone while driving, and now we can use directly on the dashboard of a car.
By activating the voice command you can search for nearby stores and addresses. If you use other applications while you have active navigation, you will get a bar at the top whenever you cross or perform a maneuver. Such notifications are just one of the new Android L. course, also come with sound notifications through your car’s speakers.
The connected cell phone determines the location, in the same way that Android Auto currently uses data including your phone plan and transmits it to the screen of the car.
If for some reason your phone has no signal, navigation shall continue to operate “for a time” thanks to the cache that Google Maps on your phone automatically. Indicative of signal strength, battery level, time and microphone also appear when you are on Google Maps.
Telephony section shows you on top of your favorite contacts or you contact most often, in a format similar to Google Now cards and other Google services. From there you can make calls, but you can also activate voice commands to tell Android Auto you want to mark a phone number or to one of your contact.
Android Auto will read aloud text messages that you receive to also respond with dictation. To avoid distractions, the message text will not appear on the screen.
The integration of music is another key aspect Android Auto. The platform offers playing music through Google Music by default, but you can also use Spotify, TuneIn Radio, Pandora and other services. The interface of these services is very similar, because Google has templates for different applications available to developers looking to offer a very similar experience.
You may ask Android Auto to start playing a song with voice commands, but you can also use the touch screen (if the car has one) or vehicle controls.
Currently, Android Auto has applications like Spotify, Pandora, TuneIn Radio, iHeart Radio, Radio Sticker, Umano, Songza and Pocket Casts. Google will soon enable the SDK for developers to optimize their applications to run on Android Auto or develop new applications specific to certain models of vehicles or for this version of Android.
Moreover, it seems that automakers may also have some control over applications that are approved for use within their vehicle models.
It is clear that this is only the beginning of this platform and there will be few applications for Android Auto yet. However, note that the first vehicles with this system come until later this year, which will give developers time to increase the number of apps available today.
Android Auto represents another category that large technology companies are exploring, very similar to what Apple announced recently with carplay.
During the time I spent with Android Auto, everything worked very fluid. The menus quickly responded, maps are properly opened and the music sounded great on the Audi sound system test and it was easy to control. Similarly, the interface seems to go in the right direction, thanks to its simplified, graphic and colorful design.
Google Maps I think one of the most striking features of Android Auto. It looks great, is suitable for use and will be very useful for many people.
Toca wait to come to the market the first car models with Android Auto to see how much interest generated among developers and why so many Google applications approved and manufacturers.
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