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Volvo, Kenwood Rev Up Android Auto with New Integrations

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May 9, 2018, 5:18 PM   by Eric M. Zeman   @zeman_e

Support for Google's Android Auto expanded this week thanks to new efforts taken by Volvo and Kenwood. Volvo plans to adopt Android Auto within its infotainment center. This means people will be able to use Android Auto in select Volvo cars without a nearby Android phone. Volvo demonstrated this in its new XC40 sport utility vehicle. Google said Volvo is already working to bring support for Google Assistant and the Play Store to its in-dash system. Further, Kenwood has adopted support for wireless Android Auto in its 2018 range of head units. This means people who own Android phones will be able to connect their phone to Kenwood's latest receivers without requiring a cable. In addition to these new partnerships, Google has improved the way Android Auto behaves in cars. New visual templates ensure that media apps are easier to understand and interact with from the driver's seat. Google says a new search tool lets media apps send their results directly to the dashboard when connected via Android Auto, which allows drivers to discover tracks through their dashboard rather than their phone. Last, Android Auto gains support for group messaging and RCS. Using the Google Assistant, drivers can communicate with a group of friends while keeping their hands on the wheel. Google says these new changes are available to carmakers and app developers and will reach end users over time.

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