Android Auto Will Challenge Apple for Connectivity Crown

Not so fast, Apple CarPlay. The technology sat atop the connected car heap unchallenged for a brief period, yet there's already a challenger. Practically right out of the gate, Google is hot on Apple’s heels with the newly announced Android Auto, which will (just like CarPlay) allow users to project their smartphone’s interface onto the vehicle’s built-in touchscreen.

Connecting is for now still a wired affair—hooking up to Android Auto is fortunately as simple as just plugging a modern Android smartphone into an in-car USB port. Not only will users be able to see their phone’s music, Google Maps navigation, and other apps (like Spotify and iHeartRadio) working on the screen, but Google says they’ll be able to use these functions using either hands-free voice activation or their car’s existing, built-in controls. In the end, it’s a more logical and universal answer to the question of how to best connect smartphones and cars.

“You get the connected apps and services on your smartphone, with the physical controls that were optimized for driving in your car,” said Android director of engineering Patrick Brady, in a company YouTube video.

The big question, of course, is whether automakers will make their cars compatible with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, or if they’ll play favorites. So far both Audi and Volvo are confirming that compatibility with Android Auto does not exclude other systems from compatibility. Google says that Android Auto will begin appearing in production vehicles later this year. Acura, Audi, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Nissan, and Volvo have already confirmed their cars will offer Android Auto functionality.

Apple CarPlay is confirmed for BMW, Ford, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, Jaguar Land Rover, Kia, Mercedes-Benz, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Peugeot-Citroën, Subaru, Suzuki, and Toyota.

andyoo
tha best thing is no itune sync....lol
Zack Kibler
Choosing between Apple and Android would be a foolish choice for automakers. It would effectively eliminate anyone who uses the OS not chosen as a potential customer.I also don't like how you have to plug in your phone via USB to use it. It's bad for battery life to have your phone be charging, then not charging, all the time. I fried an iPod Touch battery because I was always using it with the USB connection in my car. That said, I realize there may be no other option.

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