The High Tech Society

What is Android Auto?

TECH

What is Android Auto?

If you’re in the market for a new car you will probably quickly notice that many new models feature built-in technology for connecting your smartphone. The two main options are Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. If you have an Android phone, or just prefer Android in general, Android Auto is the clear choice.

If you’re interested in finding out what Android Auto is, what it does, and how it works in your car, keep reading.

What is Android Auto

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Android Auto allows you to project your phone’s technology onto your car’s build in dashboard display, so that you can access limited features and functions, including music, apps, maps, messages, calling, and more. With Android’s built in Google Maps, Google Play Music, Google Now, and custom apps like Spotify and Pandora, Android Auto allows you to move most of the functions from your phone onto your vehicle’s dash to make it safe to access while you’re driving.

Importantly, Android Auto is not a technology on its own, but does require that you have an Android Lollipop or sooner phone. The interface is also simplified, so that you can access information and songs quickly so that they do not interfere with driving.

Voice Control

Android Auto features voice control, which allows you to turn on music, accept phone calls, send text messages, have texts and emails dictated to you, and much more.

Apps

Android Auto has more apps than CarPlay, and is adding to them. You can access top apps like Pandora, Skype, Text, iHeartRadio, Threema, Kik, the BBC Media Player, Librivox, Spotify, Overdrive, and much more.

Why Would You Want Android Auto

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Android Auto allows you to upgrade the technology in your car with whatever phone you’re using. One of the biggest disadvantages of owning a car is that technology updates every 2-3 years and it’s impossible for most of us to replace our vehicles that often. Most phones update every 6 months, and by screencasting your phone onto your car’s dashboard, you get the best of both worlds, frequently updating technology, new apps and capabilities, and your same old car.

Android Auto is mostly designed around allowing text, phone, and calling access on the car’s integrated system. This will allow you to accept calls, reply to texts using dictation, and listen to a lot of your favorite media without ever taking your eyes off the road.

With Google Maps built into the system, you also get free GPS and one of the most sophisticated directions apps on the planet.

Cons

Android Auto only works with Android Lollipop and sooner, does not work with integrated car systems like windows or the heating system, and requires you to plug your phone in in order to use it.

Aftermarket

If you have a vehicle and you want to use Android Auto but it doesn’t come with it built in, you can install aftermarket solutions starting from about $400. This is pricey, but it is much cheaper than buying a new vehicle, and as it could replace your radio, your GPS, and allow you to use talk to text to catch up with family and friends while you drive, it could be a good investment. Pioneer, JBL, Alpine, and JVC all offer Android Auto dash installations.

Are you looking forward to integrating your phone’s technology into your car? If not, why not?