Google provides new details on Android Auto – talks about design, architecture, and development process


Android Auto smartphone connect

I think it’s safe to say we’re all anxiously awaiting the arrival of Android L, Google’s latest desert arriving later this year. But aside from a redesigned smartphone user interface with flashy new animations, it’s what Android L will introduce with Android Auto that really has our interest piqued.

Up until now, information about Android Auto was a bit scarce. Sure, Google had a landing page with signup information about what it will do, but additional information about actual development was absent. Today, Google is now providing Android developers with a brief overview about Android Auto, detailing areas such as design, architecture, user interface, and the development process.

Android Auto screenshots

Similar to Android Wear, Google is looking to keep things simple. Notifications will display in a very specific manner (just like Android Wear) and developers wont have too much leeway in how their apps can look when in media mode, Android Auto’s interface when handling music, podcasts, and other audio centric apps. For the most part, this means apps like Pandora will look nearly identical to apps like Google Play Music. While the general layout is off limits, developers can still choose their own icons, colors, or background images — but not much else. Android Auto provides a darker night mode, presumably switching on the fly once the sun sets (a feature we’ve seen in apps like Waze).

This will not only ensure a much more uniform experience, but ensure drivers will be familiar with all Android Auto apps out if the box and keeps everything safe and kosher with local driving laws as well as automotive OEMs. Google also assures developers that the tight restrictions make their coding life much easier in that they wont have to maintain a separate app specifically for Android Auto since it’s using the same functionality from their existing app.

If you’re a developer curious about learning more about Android Auto, or testing your app with the media client in the Android Auto SDK, hit up the source link below.

[Android Developers]

Chris Chavez
I've been obsessed with consumer technology for about as long as I can remember, be it video games, photography, or mobile devices. If you can plug it in, I have to own it. Preparing for the day when Android finally becomes self-aware and I get to welcome our new robot overlords.

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  1. Do we know if Google Auto is something that’s only going to be sold with newer cars, or if there will be after-market systems with which I can, say, replace my existing radio? My car is old enough where I don’t even have an aux jack to plug my phone’s headphone jack into the radio. I’m stuck using a bluetooth receiver/fm transmitter, and that doesn’t work too well. I’d love to just pop out my radio and plug in a Google Auto system.

    1. Several companies that make after-market systems are members of the Open Automotive Alliance, so there should certainly be some after-market systems eventually.

    2. The Open Automotive Alliance has partners that include pioneer, alpine, panasonic, and delphi. I imagine that they would come up with an aftermarket stereo that has Android Auto. I know Pioneer makes an aftermarket with Apple’s vehicle OS. I forgot the name of it.

    3. Since you’re willing to purchase an aftermarket Android Auto radio, have you considered just purchasing a new radio that has an AUX input?

    4. Just look to apples carplay for the answers you seek my son…oh wait apple won’thave this tech for 3 more years…nevermind!

    5. They have aftermarket partners. I think it was parrot and jvc

  2. The aftermarket auto industry desperately needs this. Please partner with someone like Kenwood or Pioneer abd make these possible.

    Hell, the new audis are 4G/LTE with Google options built in

  3. Sort of hoping someone like Dension or mObridge comes up with a PNP interface for some of the more common infotainment systems from the last decade or so…

    I’m not trying to cobble a bunch of aftermarket trash into my interior, so I’d love to have something that works with the existing PCM setup, for example. I’d put an RCD in my wife’s car, too, if an Android Auto interface were created for the RCD/RNS units.

  4. Meh. I was excited about Android Auto but I’m getting less excited. Looks they’re trying to oversimplify this. If I wanted stupid simple I’d buy Apple stuff. I like features and control, I enjoy what my phone apps let me do, like Poweramp for music and Waze for navigation. If this is just big pretty buttons for play, pause, forward and back like an ipod shuffle, I might just skip it and install an Android tablet in my dashboard.

    1. I would say that Google now integration alone makes it worth it

      1. Explain? You mean like notes in Google Keep?

        1. Typo. That was supposed to say Google now

    2. I agree. That’s why I bought one of those unbranded Android head units. The Torque app alone is worth it.

  5. Does this mean there won’t be apps which turn our cars into transformers?

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