WE have mobile phones, tablets, and watches already running on Android. User-friendly and most popular OS to use, an android made its presence felt pretty quickly and swiftly. And how! And it’s just growing. Now we have android auto.
A device that does more than just answering the call in your car. Something beyond the usual Bluetooth features that you get in the car. Little more than a year of the global launch of Android Auto, India and 17 other countries finally got smarter cars that can do a lot more. While you can sit back and pay attention to the road while not missing out on taking calls or replying to text without even touching your phone.
Some of the other additions to the earlier list that will enjoy the benefits of Android Auto are Brazil, Russia, Chile, Switzerland, Columbia, Paraguay, and Argentina. Google seems to be coming with full speed at increasing the expanse and popularity of the product by reaching a tally of 29 countries across the globe.
Things like calling via Bluetooth device or via vehicle’s inbuilt features were quite cool in itself thanks to that Mission impossible ring it had to it, but now is the time to say bye-bye to the device and limited features it offered. Android auto has arrived which simplifies a great many things while you drive.
Android auto is google’s automotive infotainment platform. All you need is an Android phone running 5.0 (Lollipop) or higher, a compatible car. An aftermarket head unit with a touch screen from Pioneer or Kenwood would also do.
The next thing you need is the Android Auto companion app, which is available from the Google Play store.
Last, you’d need a USB cable. The interface is intuitive and pretty much familiar to smartphone users but it’s not a replica of the mobile screen as it has been redefined at certain places to enhance the ease of usage.
Underneath the main screen, it shows shortcuts for the main functions that you’d be looking for like home, music, call, maps, and in case you’re using it on an aftermarket head unit it will have a shortcut to go back to the manufacturer’s screen.
One more thing that makes not-so-expensive car users feel good about it that it enhances your experience while driving for a much lesser cost as far as the ‘smartness’ is concerned up to an extent.
Now you can make calls in a jiffy just by tapping the red icon for voice commands on the right and say, ‘Call’ followed by the contact name. It also has a list of the recent call log. .
Navigation gets one step ahead with this because now you don’t need to type your destination’s address in a separate device for directions. Simply say, ‘Navigate’ preceded by your destination, say Hauz Khas per se and directions come up on the screen.
The interesting thing about the navigation is that it uses GPS signals from the head unit and not the phone, which in turn is more accurate. Now that you have your directions right, music is the next thing. Finding the end of the aux cable, eh? Relax.
This one is my personal favorite. Say “Play music” your car speaks to you, “Sure” and plays songs with all the things you need like play mode, recently played songs. You can reply to texts without touching your phone. One can also voice search while the little ones play candy crush on the phone.
No-brainer though, but you do need internet signals on your device all the time you want to use it.
Apple iPhone’s CarPlay has already been there to do the same thing, but now with this new arrival, it is not the only smartphone to have such features. The system has been updated with a few bugs fixed and performance is better compared to the earlier version.
“Android Auto was designed with safety in mind,” Google said in a statement. “With a simple and intuitive interface, integrated steering wheel controls, and powerful new voice actions, it’s designed to minimize distraction so you can stay focused on the road.”
It also means that the chances of getting pulled over for fiddling with your phone while driving are also lesser now! If you still think it’s okayish good and not awesome type good, then let me also add that it supports other apps that make it not a designated google supporting device like Whatsapp, Telegram, and Skype.
Pandora, Spotify, iHeartRadio, MLB, and NPR are some of the music apps and non-music talk radio channels in addition to Google’s music app.
Talking of vehicles that support this, many new cars by common brands will gradually have it inbuilt in their 2016/2017 models. If you need a list, go to https://www.android.com/auto/. Along with this list, Mahindra XUV 500 deserves a mention for being the first car to come with Android Auto support.