Android Auto is becoming more and more important to Google, and there are hefty improvements in the planning for 2019. This is evidenced by statements made by the development team.
Android Auto Enhancements 2019: this is coming
In 2019 Android Auto will continue to grow if we can believe Paul Brady. Brady is the head of Android Auto at Google and shared in an interview with The Verge the plans he and his team have for the coming months. In it, he talks about new features, more apps and other ways to get Android Auto in your car.
1. Android Auto will soon work with more cars and devices
Two variants of Android Auto are currently available. The first version is built in by automakers and supported by more and more companies. For example, Volvo, Mitsubishi, and Renault-Nissan deliver almost all of their future cars with Googles software. But there is more to it, says Brady: he hints among other things about the arrival of Honda.
In addition, you can use Android Auto in older cars and other models by connecting your smartphone to the entertainment system. Brady also sees opportunities: Google wants to provide Android Auto with stereo systems for the car.
However, it is not preferable because the integration with your car is much more limited. "To really use all the possibilities, we have to work together with the automakers."
2. Google Assistant will send your entire car
If Android Auto is supplied directly by the manufacturer, it has additional advantages. The software can then be linked to just about all parts of the car. Brady sees far-reaching integration for himself. "For example, you can say 'turn on the wipers' against the Google Assistant. That does not work if it is not integrated with the car.
The number of apps that work with Android Auto is still very limited. Although more than two million Android apps can be found in the Play Store, just over a hundred have been marked as suitable for traveling. That is conscious, Brady admits.
3. More apps require thorough testing
"We have many conversations with automakers about how we secure our platform and ecosystem. All apps that are logged in for Android Auto are tested extensively first, to ensure that they do not entail any dangers. "That is probably a lot more rigorous than the test process for 'normal' Android apps, and that is only better too. After all, dangerous apps regularly appear in the Play Store.
4. Better update policy than for your smartphone
The weak point of many Android smartphones: the updates. When Google releases a new version of Android, it often takes months before that software rolls out to other devices. Even a security update needs weeks to reach most smartphones. Although Google is taking steps to improve, the situation is still far from optimal.
When it comes to software in cars, fast, regular updates are only more important. After all, you do not want to drive in a car with a vulnerability. And although a smartphone often does not receive updates after a year or two, three cars are soon to be used for ten years or more. Google is well aware of this and says it works with manufacturers to make updates as easy as possible.
"We are already working well together with direct partners such as Volvo, Renault-Nissan, and others. We want to make sure that if a car first runs on Android P, the automaker can later quickly upgrade to Android Q, Android R and beyond so that things remain up-to-date and users can get started quickly. "