You don't even need to have a car to use Google's latest version of Android Auto.
As a recent study revealed, most of the drivers are not entirely satisfied with their built-in navigation systems and many of them are actually using the navigation functions of their phones instead. That’s not a big surprise, as some factory GPS systems are too complicated and require browsing through many menus to find an address and add it as a destination.
Thankfully, there are modern solutions like Google’s Android Auto and Apple Car Play, which offer mirroring functions from mobile phones to the car’s infotainment system. But there are millions of older cars on the road that are not compatible with these applications - many don't have a screen at all. That’s why Google has come up with an update for its system, allowing users to use the app entirely on their phones.
The latest update from the American multinational technology company will allow anyone with Android phone running 5.0 or newer software version to use “a driver friendly interface to access the key stuff you need on the road ― directions, music, communications ― without the distraction of things that aren't essential while driving.”
Basically, this means customers will be able to use Android Auto functions without having a modern car with display, or – even without having a car at all. The updated tech features applications like Spotify, Pandora, or Google Play Music, and hands-free voice commands. Of course, a turn-by-turn navigation commands are also included thanks to Google Maps.
Google explains the update also brings the ability to automatically start the app when the phone is paired with Bluetooth, while enhanced support for hands-free voice commands is coming in the next few weeks.
If you are interested in the built-in version of Android Auto, here’s the full list of vehicles compatible with the system with more models coming soon.
We launched Android Auto two years ago with the goal to better integrate phones and cars, and give drivers an easier way to access the information they need. There are now over 200 new car models supporting Android Auto offered from more than 50 brands, and many more launching every day.
But we know there are millions of older cars on the road that are not compatible with Android Auto, and many don't have a screen at all. We wanted to bring the same connected experience to these drivers too.
So today we're excited to introduce a whole new way to use Android Auto: right on your phone screen! This update allows anyone with an Android phone (running 5.0 or later) to use a driver friendly interface to access the key stuff you need on the road ― directions, music, communications ― without the distraction of things that aren't essential while driving.
Whether your phone is connected to a compatible car display, or placed in a car mount on the dashboard, Android Auto brings your favorite apps and services into one place, making them accessible in safer and seamless ways. You can bring your music with you with apps like Spotify, Pandora or Google Play Music, and make calls or send messages with hands-free voice commands. And of course, get turn-by-turn directions to your next destination with Google Maps.
This update also brings the ability to automatically start the app when the phone is paired with Bluetooth. While you can put your phone in any car mount, please keep an eye out for Bluetooth-supported car mounts such as Logitech’s SmartCar mount, which is coming soon to the Google Store and select retail locations.
We’re also enhancing the support for hands-free voice commands in the coming weeks. You will soon be able to easily access existing features like maps, music and messaging by just saying “Ok Google” so you can stay focused on the road.
The latest version (2.0) with the phone screen experience will be rolling out in the coming days to more than 30 countries where Android Auto is currently available. Sign up on the Android Auto website to receive an email when the update is available for your phone.