Nowadays, more and more individuals use their phones in their cars for GPS and music. Why shouldn’t they? Google Maps is far superior to whatever crappy system is integrated into your car. Enter Android Auto: the finest of what your phone has to offer, but incorporated into your dashboard’s head unit. Android Auto is, in its most basic form, exactly what it sounds like, Android for your car. It isn’t a blown-up version of the phone UI, but it should feel extremely similar to anyone who has used Android before. It offers a home screen, Google Maps integration, and compatibility for a variety of audio applications. Furthermore, it also employs voice control for almost everything, allowing you to maintain your eyes on the road. With a single voice command, it will read your texts to you, as well as allow you to respond, launch any app, browse to a place, or play music. Auto is an Android companion that goes in the automobile, similar to how Android Wear is an Android companion that you wear on your wrist.
Android Auto is available in three flavors. You may either buy a car with built-in Android Auto (as many 2017 models do), buy an aftermarket head unit and have it fitted, or utilize the app version on your phone. The first option is, of course, the simplest and, in many ways, the greatest way to use Android Auto. However, if you can’t afford to buy a new car (especially only to acquire this feature), it’s also the most unrealistic option. That’s where the second option comes in—a number of car stereo manufacturers, including JBL, Kenwood, and Pioneer, are getting into the Android Auto game these days. Recently, a third choice has emerged: the Auto app for Android. Android Auto, originally revealed by Google in early 2016, has found its way to phones. The basis of Android Auto is the same for all head unit configurations. You have a touch screen, much like any other head unit, that offers you rapid access to weather, directions to previously searched locations, and presently playing music. The interface is similar to that of an Android phone, with separate buttons down the bottom for Maps, Phone, Home, Music, and the final button to exit Auto and return to the primary interface of the head unit.
When you install the software and link your phone into an Auto device, it pairs the smartphone via Bluetooth and handles everything else via the USB connection—the user is required to do very little to get started. Once everything is up and running, you can just toss the phone into the console, your lap, or wherever you like. It will be made essentially useless from this point forward—Auto will thrust itself into the foreground of the phone, removing access to all controls except Home and Back. The goal is to keep your gaze away from your phone while driving. Of course, Android Auto isn’t perfect. The most difficult problem is with voice control. There’s also the issue of money. If you’re buying a new automobile, just put Android Auto on your “want” list and be done with it. However, if you want to install Android Auto in your current vehicle, the costs add up rapidly. Android Auto head units start at $500, and unless you’re aware of how complicated modern car audio systems can be, they’ll almost certainly require professional installation. So, if you’re in the market for a new vehicle, there’s no excuse not to acquire one with Auto. It’s fantastic to have.