Is Android Auto The New and Safe Version For Using Your Smartphone in The Car?

The latest technology innovations have touched almost each niche possible and the world is now surrounded. For the most part, in a good way.

Here’s Android Auto. Wait, it has been launched a year ago…

Actually, quite a few cars fitted with the operating system came out a year ago:

  • Hyundai Sonata (May 2015)
  • Skoda Fabia (June 2015)
  • Skoda Rapid (June 2015)
  • Skoda Superb (June 2015)
  • Skoda Octavia (June 2015)
  • VW Fox (June 2015)
  • Honda Accord (August 2015)
  • Audi Q7 (August 2015)
  • Honda Civic (September 2015)
  • VW Golf/GTI/R (September 2015/2016)
  • VW Touran II (September 2015)
  • Mitsubishi Pajero (September 2015)

But Google didn’t stop there with the Android Auto initiative of making driving safer and more fun. In the following lines, we’ll talk about the app Google has recently released, its features and why you should be excited.

You’ll Only Need an Android Smartphone

The idea behind the app is rather straightforward. Using your car’s Bluetooth – or not – and your Android phone, you can turn it into a car like the ones mentioned above.

You don’t need an Android compatible car to enjoy the experience. You don’t even need to have a big LCD dash display. It all runs on your smartphone.

Granted, not all smartphones are compatible. But if you think about how much a car costs versus how much a smartphone costs you’ll find at least a reason to get excited.

Google says that Android Auto will run on almost any smartphone with Android 5.0 and above. That means you can get an Android vehicle without needing to buy a new and expensive car.

Additionally, almost any driver now has a smartphone cradle for the dashboard. So we’re used to having our smartphone there.

Here Are Android Auto’s Features

Again, things are very simple. You can either connect your smartphone to your car’s Bluetooth and open the app.

You’ll get a simplified yet immersive interface that gives you access to a bundle of apps. The suite includes:

  • Google Maps
  • Google Play Music
  • Communication through voice commands
  • Google Voice
  • Spotify
  • Pandora and more.

By more, you can understand Facebook Messenger. The integration has been recently announced. You can even listen to the message being read by an AI and reply either with “I’m driving now” with the push of a button, or by using voice command.

Using Bluetooth not only gives you access to playing music through your car’s speakers but can also allow you to use the interface on the car’s dash display. You can either rely solely on the smartphone or use your car’s audio system for playing music. However, your car will need at least a 3.5mm aux in jack.

The Android Auto home screen brings you a handful of useful information organized so you can read them without losing focus on driving:

  • Suggested destinations
  • Upcoming appointments
  • Weather conditions.

If your car comes fitted with compatible hardware, you can enjoy the access to some of your automobile’s sensors and features like GPS, mobile antennas or compass.

Sadly, the app is not yet available everywhere. These are the countries where people can enjoy it:

  • Argentina
  • Australia
  • Austria
  • Bolivia
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • Colombia
  • Costa Rica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Ecuador
  • France
  • Germany
  • Guatemala
  • India
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Mexico
  • New Zealand
  • Panama
  • Paraguay
  • Peru
  • Puerto Rico
  • Russia
  • Spain
  • Switzerland
  • United Kingdom
  • United States
  • Uruguay
  • Venezuela.

Have You Tried It Yet?

There’s a high chance Google will continue integrating Android Auto with other third-party apps. Of course, as long as their promise of making driving safer and more enjoyable is kept.

For example, a spokesperson from Waze revealed that there is much work put towards integrating this popular app into Android Auto. It is expected to be ready in 2017.

Let me know in the comments section below if you’ve already tried the app and how you feel about it. Additionally, it would be nice if you could mention the car you’re driving, so we can all get a list of models where the Bluetooth pairing works like a charm.

Philipp Kandal