Android Auto is here: Google brings contextually-aware Android interface to your car's dashboard


Google just lifted the veil off of Android Auto - its in-car interface service, which has been developed by the Open Automotive Alliance (comprising of Google itself, Audi AG, General Motors Co., Honda Motor Co., Hyundai Motor Group and NVIDIA Corp.). The concept is pretty similar to Apple's CarPlay service, as it brings Android to your car. Well, not that your car will run Android out of the box, no. Android Auto runs on your smartphone and provides users with a simplified Android user interface straight on the dashboard of their cars. It allows them to access select features - navigation, communication, and listening to music.

Android Auto is completely voice-enabled (thanks to Google's Voice Search, that is) and is contextually-aware, which means that it brings "the right information right when you need it" straight on your car's dashboard. Simply tapping a button on your steering wheel enables Android Auto's voice search. Of course, users can also control Google's auto-centric service by pressing the touchscreen buttons on their dashboards, but that's a tad less cool (and potentially dangerous), isn't it? Speaking of navigation, Android Auto provides users with the full Google Maps experience, turn-by-turn navigation, and also gives personalized suggestions about possible destinations thanks to its awareness.

Users can also send text messages by tapping a button and verbally interacting with Android Auto, similar to the way one sends a message by using Google Now. Users can also access their Google Play Music playlists and curated music libraries. Speaking of music, Google has partnered with a pretty wide array of music-streaming services, most notably Songza, Pandora, TuneIn, iHeartRadio, and others.

It was also revealed that Google is now partnering with over 40 car manufacturers, which will support Android Auto. The first car with the service on board will be released "by the end of the year". Additionally, Android Auto's SDK will be available for developers later this year.

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