Google’s Android software will follow Apple’s CarPlay system into a dashboard near you later this year. Like the Apple system, Android Auto will port most of the Android phone apps to the center screen of your car for use while driving. Google says Android Auto will work with your cars existing buttons and knobs for seamless use.
The system will use Google Maps for navigation, obviously, a far superior system to Apple Maps, in our eyes. The window and flashing blue dot will appear on the center screen, as will directions, traffic info and lane guidance. If it’s in voice-guidance mode, that will play over your car’s speakers.
The system will work with Android’s Google Play Music, Pandora and Spotify apps. It will also play whatever you have stored in your media library. Currently, a few more apps are optimized for the system, including MLB At Bat, Tunein, Stitcher, Songza and iHeart Radio.
Voice control will take care of other stuff like texting, calling and checking emails. The phones will connect via Micro USB, as opposed to the iPhone’s Lightning cable.
Since the Android Auto system works with the car, it doesn’t have to support AM/FM radio, climate control or any of the normal car functions. It can be used purely for entertainment and work, if necessary. Automakers are also pulling in a few of their own apps for things like maintenance, diagnostics and roadside-service requests.
The Android Auto page says the system is coming soon to nearly every manufacturer from Abarth to Volvo, but check to see if your car is on there.