Volvo, Kenwood Rev Up Android Auto with New Integrations
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.
Jul 26, 2017
Google today made Waze available within Android Auto. The new integration means those who prefer Waze to Google Maps can take advantage of Waze via their car's in-dash infotainment center.
Jul 31, 2017
Google today released the Nearby Connections 2.0 API to developers, which will eventually help Android devices find, connect to, and communicate with other nearby devices all on their own. The vision is to make it possible for Android handsets to automatically share information with internet-of-things-type devices, such as personal temperature preferences with thermostats, Netflix playlists with connected television sets, and so on.
May 6, 2019
A redesigned version of Android Auto will roll out this summer. The biggest change is the ability to control two apps at once, with one taking up the main screen, and the other displaying limited controls and/or info in a widget within the persistent bar at the bottom of the screen.
Nov 15, 2017
Google today announced a comprehensive update to the Google Assistant. Most of the changes are meant for developers, but everyone will benefit from Assistant's improved ability to interact with third-party applications.