Giants like Google and Apple have long overcome their initial area (which is the Internet and Phone) and inched their way into new and amazing niches. For instances, Google is now working at a self-driving car and Apple is building a software system that will fit any car and make it autonomous.
Put plainly, when it comes to technology, the possibilities are limitless. So we shouldn’t be amazed by the fact that some drivers would rather use Android Auto instead of their car’s native infotainment software.
But what exactly is Android Auto and how can you use it? Well, Android Auto is an app that can run directly on your phone, or you can use it on your car’s display (for compatible vehicles). Regardless of your choice, the application will become your trusted assistant on the road, and here’s why:
The app gives you access to all your phone’s features using just your voice. This way, you no longer have to take your eyes off the road, and you can even have a delightful conversation with your phone assistant.
For example, if you want it to play music, all you have to do is say ‘OK Google, play Castle on the Hill’ (or any other song you may want). The same goes with any questions you may have about surroundings or general trivia.
It also allows you to reply messages by using text-to-speech, so you’ll feel like you’re in one of the most modern cars ever made (even though your infotainment system works with CDs). If you have a touchscreen on the dashboard, you can use it to bring the commands closer to your hands, but the app also runs directly on the phone.
Another cool feature you should know about is navigation via voice commands. Android Auto uses Google Maps to guide you on the fastest and less crowded route and can even save some of your favorite destinations such as Home or Work. This way, you no longer need to type in the address; you just ask Google to take you Home.
Third Party Apps
Even though your car’s system doesn’t know what Pandora is, Android Auto knows. It also knows about Waze, iHeart Radio, WhatsApp, Skype, and Spotify and it can make driving a lot more fun. Even more, Google introduced their assistant (the one that answers on your phone) in the default settings of this application, meaning that if a command is not clear enough, the app can ask for more details. Also check: Best Car apps
You can even ask it to make calls for you and send replies to certain messages! There is one downside though: the app is not interconnected with your car’s systems so, if you’re using it on the dashboard, you will have to exit the app to work with controls like temperature or selecting a different driving mode. Google is currently working on this aspect with carmakers, so it may not be long before Android Auto controls your entire car.
While it may be just an app, it is a fantastic way to spruce up a basic car model or bring an old one up to date with technology. The only other way to make you feel like your car is new again is with a personalized license plate (more about this here), but this won’t talk to you during those long and boring trips.
Overall, the application is quite impressive and brings in the social element carmakers seem to forget all the time.