Android For Cars Is Getting Zoom, YouTube And Other Upgrades — Heres Whats Coming
Google I/O has long been the place where Google reveals its plans for the near future of Android, and Android cars are no exception. This year, Google is focusing on improving the in-car experience, especially as Android for cars becomes more mainstream and will be available in 200 million cars by the end of the year.
For the uninitiated, Android for cars comes in two different flavors: Android Auto and the misnamed Android Automotive OS. Android Auto is what runs from your phone when it's connected to your car, and Android Automotive OS is Google's in-car.
Most of Google's plans for cars are aimed at developers, but the overall goal is to improve the Android experience in cars. This includes driving and parking for any reason. With the rise of electric cars around the world, many people will need a way to save time while charging.
Part of that includes adding more experience to the infotainment system, especially in cars with Android Automotive OS from Polestar and Volvo cars to YouTube support coming to your car, with games and web browsing coming soon. This includes Gamesnax, a long-running Android Auto product that allows car passengers to access mini-games while the car is parked.
In the near future, Google will add support for Microsoft Teams, Zoom and Cisco WebEx to the car. This means you can listen to meetings anywhere without relying on your phone. This means you cannot use the "I'm driving" excuse to avoid entry. Of course, this assistance will be audio only, as video would be too intrusive for safe driving.
Finally, after a short period of exclusivity on select Renault and Polestar vehicles, Google has rolled out Waze to all Android Automotive OS vehicles. It is being rolled out and will add support for EV charging stations in the car version of the app. This update will allow users to verify EV chargers by confirming information such as plug type and lifespan.
Other changes to Android for cars include the ability for IoT developers to create apps with better smart home connectivity, easier integration of tablet apps in cars via Google Play, access to more data from car sensors and voice support for app actions, which developers can activate. . Allows you to add more voice commands to Google Assistant.
Multi-screen support will also be part of Android Automotive OS 14, and navigation apps will be able to integrate with the instrument panel behind the wheel, providing turn-by-turn directions in the driver's field of vision.
It's not the most exciting upgrade, especially compared to the Google Pixel Fold. But it shows that Google is still committed to improving Android in cars, even if only slightly. This will be especially important when the next generation of Apple CarPlay comes out.