GOOGLE UNVEILED ANDROID AUTO at its I/O press conference on Wednesday, challenging Apple's Carplay with its own in-car system.
Google said during its I/O Conference keynote, "We have redesigned the Android platform for automotive. We looked at what people do in their cars, and these things stuck out to us; navigation, communication and music. Android Auto puts these front and center."
Much like its Apple's in-car system, Google's Android Auto platform allows users to connect their smartphone to their car - likely via HDMI or Bluetooth - to select a playlist, check traffic conditions or to get directions, for example. Users will be able to control it entirely by voice, with Google boasting that it offers a "safe, distraction free experience" and highlighting that Android Auto will also be compatible with steering-wheel based buttons.
Google showed off how users can send SMS messages without exiting the Maps app purely by barking at the system, and it's likely that additional, similar tasks will be available soon, with Google announcing that it is releasing a full set of APIs for messaging and audio applications and saying that the Android Auto SDK is set to be published "soon." These APIs will also be used by Android Wear, so developers will be able to port their apps between smartwatches and the in-car system.
The first cars with Android Auto are expected to arrive before the end of the year, and there are already over 40 partners lined up to support it, including Ford, Honda, Nissan and Volvo.
You can sign up to be alerted when Android Auto becomes available at Google's dedicated Android Auto website. µ