Google announced today it is updating Android Auto and Google Built-In with new apps. Users can now join scheduled conference calls and meetings, watch TV and movies, browse the web, and more from their vehicle’s infotainment screen.
Google Built-In, the company’s suite of integrated services and apps, now offers Amazon Prime Video in the store. It’s available today for select Renault, Volvo, and Polestar models, with the functionality coming to other brands in the future. Also rolling out today is Vivaldi, a new internet browser. Both apps only work when the vehicle is parked.
The third new app coming to Google Built-In is The Weather Channel. This provides hourly forecasts, alerts, and “Trip View” radar right on the infotainment screen.
Google is also expanding its support for digital car key, which is already available in Europe. The expanded functionality comes to the United States, Canada, and Korea for drivers of select Hyundai, Genesis, and Kia models who also own compatible Pixel and Samsung devices. The company said it wants to “grow support” for the technology with additional automakers.
A new feature coming to Android Auto is the ability to join scheduled meetings and conference calls from a car’s display. Users can join WebEx by Cisco and Zoom calls with audio-only capability without having to access their phones, making the process much safer for the driver and everyone else on the road.
Apps and other digital services are infiltrating modern automobiles, with tech companies and automakers fighting for screen real estate. Earlier this year, General Motors announced it would not offer Apple CarPlay and Android Auto in future models, instead working with Google to build an in-house software solution. The Cadillac Escalade IQ revealed last month doesn’t come with either service.
Google isn’t the only tech company interested in in-car displays. In June 2022, Apple announced its next-generation CarPlay software that would overtake every screen in a car, allowing users to customize the digital instruments, control settings, and more. Apple said it would announce the first vehicles to use the new software in late 2023, with Ford, Jaguar, Mercedes-Benz, Volvo, and others already committed.