Android Auto, Google’s answer to built-in infotainment systems, is now available to download to your phone. The app requires users to run Android 5.0 or later, and it can be plugged directly into your automobile to offer the Android Auto experience to autos that would otherwise need a compatible vehicle to run the app.
The app brings users’ favorite apps and services to autos in a seamless, safe way.
Users can use voice commands to control their phone, make calls, send messages and get directions via Google Maps. The use of voice commands makes the app inherently safer than trying to type in directions while paying attention to the road.
Bluetooth-supported car mounts are recommended by Google.
Users will be able to bring their music with them, too, via Google Play Music, Pandora and Spotify.
Android Auto is available in Hyundai, Chevrolet and Volkswagen vehicles. The company’s platform will also be standard in all Ford’s in 2017. Ford will offer Android Auto and CarPlay in all their vehicles.
The app will require intense permissions to function properly. Users must allow the app to make phone calls and send messages. The app will limit the function of certain apps while driving so that users keep their eyes on the road.
The company’s Google Play Music app, for example, won’t display a keyboard to search through playlists to discourage users from typing and driving. Drivers can instead tap the microphone button and use voice recognition to perform a search.
Google will read messages back to you, and users won’t be able to read their message or respond to them via a keyboard while driving.
Users can tap on missed messages and calls and respond to them with their voice.
The Android Auto app can be set to automatically start with it connected to your car’s Bluetooth, and there are shortcuts to Google Maps, music and your phone. Weather and quick directions are available through the platform, too.