Monday, 11 August 2014

Android Auto: How Google can make it better?

| Monday, August 11, 2014 | |

The Google I/O last month led to the launch of a range of Android products. The preview of the next version of Android — Android L — was shown off. Also updates to the Google Chromecast were announced along with the introduction of Android TV. Then there’s Android Wear; spawning the next generation of smartwatches. We pretty much knew about most of these before the keynote, except for Android Auto.

android auto car
Android Auto
It’s a fact that people now spend a considerable amount of time in their cars. The car population has been on a rise and can be expected to grow consistently. Android Auto has been introduced by Google to bring the Android experience to the car. What Android Auto does is provide a receiver that will display your Android phone on it. Just like the Chromecast made your TV smarter, Google plans to do the same to your car with Android Auto.

car enabled with Android Auto dashboard
Car with Android Auto Dash
The software for Android Auto will run from the phone and will be displayed on the dashboard of the car. From what Google demoed at the I/O, it is certain that it’ll do navigation, play your music etc. But come to think of it most existing car infotainment systems already do that. The “Ok Google” functionality is new you’d say, well not really. Some car have voice input available but it might not be as good as Google is.

The point I’m trying to make here is that Android Auto is not doing anything extraordinary compared to what currently exists in the market. I was expecting more from Google, you simple can’t sell a dumb unit with a car that needs a phone to run the whole damn thing. A couple of questions come to mind when I think about this.

What if I don’t want to connect my phone to the head unit, will it be useless without it?

Will it play FM Radio or music from a flash drive if I want it to?

What if I have an Apple iPhone 5s? Do I need to change my buying decision just so that the system is compatible with my phone?
If you still manage to get the car you want with Android Auto, the experience still could’ve been better. Google has not made any information public about integrated on-board diagnostics, the OBD-II (On Board Diagnostics) port is become standard on all cars since 1996. Google could use it to make Android Auto better. Imagine the experience where the Android Auto console could show details about the car. Diagnose problem on the go and since its connected to your phone anyway maybe send it to the manufacturer. Maybe book an appointment for a maintenance check with a dealer. The possibilities are endless, these updates might come in later after a while who knows.

Android auto forming alliance with automobile companies
Android Auto Alliance
Google has a good concept in hand and the list of manufacturers in the Automotive Alliance is impressive. There are also aftermarket system providers who are part of the Alliance so you expect some Android Auto enabled head units finding their way in older cars.

Author Bio: Aditya Shenoy, Associate Editor at
A management graduate, passionate about gadgets and automobiles. Likes to be up to date about the latest things in the tech industry. An avid Android user who Lives to Drive. Follow me on twitter @adishenoy.
Related Posts with Thumbnails

No comments:

Post a Comment