As speculated earlier in the week, Google has come up with their answer to Apple’s CarPlay infotainment system and it’s called Android Auto. Revolving around voice controls as well as a few of Google’s key apps and functionality, Android Auto essentially reimagines an interface that we are all familiar with for use in the car.
As with all of the new things announced today at I/O, Android Auto is immensely contextually and location aware, delivering useful information to you when you’re likely to need it. Android Auto makes full use of Google Now as well as voice commands and prompts to allow you never to need to take your hands off the wheel. On top of this, you will also be able to use the buttons and dials on your dashboard and steering wheel with Android Auto in compatible automobiles when it is released.
The catch (if you see it that way) is that since everything is being “casted’ by your smartphone, if you have a more powerful smartphone, your experience will be better. Google already have a number of partners in the form of people like Spotify, Pandora and TuneIn on board for this and the SDK will be made available very soon. Google says that you’re likely to see cars with Android Auto stock coming off the lots by the end of the year (in the US of course)
This is a very attractive solution to the unreliable existing Android head units and looks incredibly promising with the advancement of Google Now and how much it knows about our habits and the focus on being contextually/location aware. Personally I am keen to see this in practice and will definitely consider this over the CarPlay solution for now.