TechDrive Navigates Android Auto At 2015 Google I/O
Presented By Wingz – Scheduled Airport Rides
The keynote at 2015’s Google I/O revealed that the Mountain View based company is changing everything for technology users on all platforms. Between Android Pay, Wear, and Home, Google is revolutionizing nearly every aspect of society with its free to use online services.
For drivers, the revolution is coming in the form of Android Auto. Here is Techdrive’s full investigation in vehicles equipped with Google’s truly mobile software.
The operating system will be available in 35 brands’ vehicles. In order to access Google’s software, users simply must plug in their Android phone via to the car’s USB cable. The operating system promptly appears on the display and picks up from wherever the user left off on his or her phone. Google Music, Google Maps, and Google Now can all be summoned with simple voice commands.
Android Auto doesn’t constrain users to Google’s applications, however. Programs that stream music and podcasts, such as Spotify, Pandora, and 8tracks, can all play through the audio system.
Google Maps offers navigation, and drivers can select routes of their choice based on traffic and road choice. The Android Auto version of Maps is extremely efficient, and clearable turn by turn overlays provide directions no matter what app you’re in.
Finally, Google Now provides users with feedback for other convenient smartphone services. Using voice commands, drivers will be able to enjoy all of the convenience of Google Now without having to take a finger off the steering wheel.
Voice controls aren’t perfect, so every car with Android also has tactile access based on each vehicle’s infotainment controls. For example, Android Auto is operated through the touchpad and control-knob in the Audi Q7. Because there isn’t a touchscreen, there is a specially designed dial-a-keyboard designed for the knob. Additionally, the touchpad allows users to input text with gestures.
The Volkswagen e-Golf has a touchscreen that enables to operate Android in the same way they would on a mobile device, by tapping and swiping. While this seems more intuitive than to voicing a command, the Google representative manning the Q7 asserted that “Initially touch is easier, but once you’re used to it, the knob is even easier.” However with such a wide range of vehicles equipped with Android, users will be able to pick a setup that matches their tastes.
This last point hits home the central theme of 2015’s Google I/O, “Be together. Not the same.” By offering open-source software Google has increased the accessibility of technology to the masses. As long as you have access hardware and an internet connection, the same technology is accessible to anyone. Granted, not everyone can afford a car with Android Auto, but budget smartphones are becoming increasingly available worldwide. This means more people will be able to join the Android revolution.
Google I/O has demonstrated how versatile the Android operating system it is, featuring uniformity and syncronisity between computers, tablets, phones, watches, homes, and cars.
It’s amazing what being together, but not the same, can get done.
Google I/O 2015 Showroom Photo Gallery