Harman Bringing Android Open Accessory Protocol to Your Car’s Dashboard


The Android Open Accessory Protocol opens up a whole world of possibilities for ways Android can be integrated into our everyday life, and Harman International Industries is ceasing the opportunity to create new ways of interfacing your Android phone with your car. Sure, we have seen our fair share of Android-powered head units, but Harman envisions a system that is seamlessly integrated into your car’s dashboard with controls routed through your steering wheel for hands-free operation of your smartphone or tablet. Of course, a big focus is on media with the ability to control movies, music, and more but the system will also make use of Android’s built-in GPS navigation and extend already available integration of SMS and email.

The USB-driven protocol is already being offered by Harman for installation, though you will need an AOAP-capable device running at least Android 3.1 or Android 2.3.4.

[via Harman]

Harman Extends Android Support for Automotive Applications

Addition of Android Open Accessory Protocol allows HARMAN to offer dashboard controls for connected smartphones and tablets

STAMFORD, Conn. – HARMAN International Industries announced today that it supports the Android Open Accessory Protocol, the first major technology partner in the automotive industry to offer the new connectivity standard. With the Android protocol built into HARMAN’s automotive offerings, users can seamlessly control smartphone or tablet content – such as music, movies or navigation apps – through a car’s dashboard or steering-wheel controls.

Adoption of the new standard continues HARMAN infotainment platform’s industry-leading support of all major mobile operating systems, including Apple’s iOS, Research in Motion’s BlackBerry platform and Nokia’s existing mobile systems. The Android Open Accessory Protocol is supported across all HARMAN infotainment platforms, so it can be used in entry-level, mid-priced and luxury automobiles. It is available now for automotive installations and extends the Android email and SMS support previously launched by HARMAN.

“Consumers no longer view their living room, workplace, and personal devices as separate domains,” said HARMAN chief executive Dinesh Paliwal. “Connectivity is fast becoming a fundamental expectation and lifestyle requirement. Consumers want to connect simply and safely in their cars, and by making this Android standard part of our OEM packages, we continue to build upon our leadership in smartphone connectivity and integration.”

With the Android Open Accessory Protocol, drivers will be able to safely activate music apps, such as HARMAN’s Aha Radio service, through voice activation or steering wheel controls. Additionally, built-in navigation systems become more robust, as popular apps that provide information on nearby restaurants, tourist spots or gas stations can be overlaid onto existing map software. Passengers benefit as well, as Android integration allows content to be streamed to entertainment devices used in rear seats.

The Android Open Accessory Protocol is built into devices running Android 3.1 (Honeycomb) and is a software upgrade for devices running Android 2.3.4 (Gingerbread) and later. The protocol allows Android devices to connect to the dashboard or rear-seat installations via USB.


HARMAN ( designs, manufactures and markets a wide range of audio and infotainment solutions for the automotive, consumer and professional markets – supported by 15 leading brands, including AKG, Harman Kardon, Infinity, JBL, Lexicon and Mark Levinson. The company is admired by audiophiles across multiple generations and supports leading professional entertainers and the venues where they perform. More than 20 million automobiles on the road today are equipped with HARMAN audio and infotainment systems. HARMAN has a workforce of about 11,800 people across the Americas, Europe and Asia, and reported sales of $3.6 billion for the 12 months ended March 31, 2011. The company’s shares are traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol NYSE: HAR.

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  1. Someone explain to me what AOAP is? Never heard of ANYTHING in this article in my life.
    Damn I’m getting old. ;D

    1. It’s a “protocol” which is a standard for communicating between devices.. It’s important in that it will allow you to control what your phone does, so that no matter the manufacturer of phone when you use a control on the car, it behaves on the phone as expected.. I love my audio controls that are on the steering wheel of my Honda, and by the time I am ready for a new car all of this will be standard fare.

    1. The first hit is this article… lol

      1. i got it as the second hit, and a quick skim seems to indicate the rest are just the same story on different sites. nothing that defines the open accessory protocol. i’m just going to go based on context and common sense that it’s something akin to the open handset alliance, but deals with hardware(ie docks, chargers etc.) rather than software.

  2. “and Harman International Industries is CEASING the opportunity to create new ways of interfacing your Android phone with your car.”

    cease = to stop
    seize = to grab a hold of

    I think you mean the latter

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