Google wants next version of Android (M) to come pre-installed in your car


Android Auto smartphone connect

With Android Auto coming soon to vehicles next year, the world will finally know what it is to have the power of Android (and Google Now) inside their car. The problem? First, you’ll need a compatible vehicle and after that, a device running Lollipop in order to enjoy Android’s latest innovation.

While this will soon be more common place as more devices find themselves upgraded to Lollipop and more Android Auto-ready vehicles begin rolling off the lot next year, the ideal solution would be to have Android Auto come pre-installed in your car.

Seems that could be Google’s next course of action for Android M, the next major Android release out of Mountain View. While a dessert name can’t be attached to it just yet, the folks at Reuters have gotten wind from 2 sources close to the matter that Android Auto will soon be built directly into your car’s dash — not simply mirror information on the vehicle’s infotainment system.

Android Auto screenshots

This may not sound like much of a benefit on the surface, but keep in mind that this would allow the Android OS to be truly tapped into a vehicle, possibly pulling up diagnostics and other data, in addition to media and navigation. Of course, Google would still need to convince automakers of the value Android Auto integration would bring, with sources saying more work needs to be done in terms of performance (and stability) before Google can expect any sort of adoption. Because cars are constantly being powered on and off, Android M would need to boot up near instantly before it could be practical as a car’s main OS.

Also — as we’ve seen with smartphone OEMs — auto makers too like to differentiate their product line from competitors. Having Android Auto inside a Honda and KIA could make additional manufacturers like Toyota hesitant about integrating it inside their vehicles, opting instead for Apple’s solution over Google’s.

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. This is terrible idea. All we need is a display extension like chromecast or mirrorcast. Last thing I want is another OS that a company won’t bother updating. Give me an LED with maybe an extra id to let the phone know it’s a car. Done.

    1. The first version of these things is always half baked. Imagine having a half baked OS in the car you keep for 10 years.

      1. Microsoft Sync?

        1. Motorola xoom?

      2. i was interested in purchasing a car in the future that comes with android auto but your comment made me shudder. i was like damn, what if i was stuck with a half baked android auto car for 10 yrs. wow that would be awful!

      3. Imagine in 10 years when it’s not half baked anymore. Gotta start somewhere.

        1. Imagine where everything else will be? Seriously what’s the point? Google wasnt even close to having the first GPS but name any in dash nav system that holds a candle to Google Maps or Waze? Oh and they offer free updates. Why on earth would I want to wait 10+ years for the auto industry to demonstrate complete failure to understand UI yet again when cell phones made everything they made obsolete overnight?

          1. The example of google maps supports my point. What if google said let’s not bother with maps/GPS because there have been dedicated navigation devices out for years. Instead they came from behind and took over that industry.

          2. No it doesn’t, because you’re assuming Google retains complete control of that device AND it stays connected to the internet for direct updates from Google.

            How many cell phones on the market today are still stuck on old versions of android again? What was that Australian carrier that blocked 5.0.1 to a nexus device again? Do you seriously think a dime of after sale support is coming from the car manufacturer to make sure these things don’t rott like every other in dash system has?

            Seriously are your going to pretend Microsoft SYNC was solely MS’ fault?

            Get ready for a wake up call.

          3. Yes, I’m assuming Google would continue to update in car software and would do so when the vehicle happens to be connected to the internet. At Tesla we send OTA updates to the in-dash software regularly. So again Google getting involved here could change the industry with aftermarket support and in-dash updates. Could.

      4. Well it would be software upgradeable like any version of Android so it would improve/polish over time. Of course it would have to be by a company managed by Google (or Motorola?) such that it actually gets timely updates.

    2. I doubt car companies are like carriers, will get updates often im sure. Android gets updated often enough on mobile too, unless you have a cheap, low end , pos Android phone. The old adage fits, you get what you pay for. Simple.

      1. You sure? When’s the last time you’ve seen a built in nav system have a free map update?

        When was the last time your 100k included a firmware update with new features?

        Built in electronics have horrific markup in cars… Have you bothered looking? They charge $2000 for $200 in parts then they never update it… Ever. Why on earth would I want to encourage this? Let them make cars, and stop there.

        1. Havent had one made by Google till now. Am i sure ? No. But Google has a good track record.

          1. Will probably handle it like Android Wear….No customizations other than removable launchers/skins/watchfaces allowed…updates straight from Google.

          2. Exactly, I see Google handling it like a Nexus or a Google Play device. To succeed in a market as bad as in dash nav systems they have to excel.

  2. Great, more stuff that will distract people

  3. After market decks please.

  4. Will ad a whole new meaning to the word Mobile, lol.

  5. Android M
    Android Mobile?

    1. Marshmallow

      1. I like Marshmellow….My vote goes to Marshmellow…calling it now

  6. Will M be a car-only version like Honeycomb is tablet-only?

  7. I just want Google to bring back Car Home and make it look like that. I’m just going to stay with my basic deck with Bluetooth and use something like Car Home Ultra It’s just as functional / if not more so than anything you can slam into my dashboard.

  8. Eons from now when we look back in time at where we initially went wrong, ultimately becoming controlled by A I.

    This is that moment.

    1. Ever read I have no mouth and must scream? What if Google now, Siri, and Cortana become self aware someday and Google now absorbs the other 2 and Starts killing us all :p

      * shudders *

  9. Dude, what? You haven’t even rooted your car, yet? Mine is totally rooted, OC’d, runnin’ the latest Marshmellow Unicorn Amazeballs ROM v6.7.11.q.# Makes my horn play the Nyancat song.

    1. Nah man I tried it but my car got bricked.

  10. And much like Apple, Google will find few inroads here due to how entrenched the carmakers are. The carmakers will keep using QNX and both Google and Apple will just have to build compatibility for it.

    Apple actually seems to prefer that route, in fact, and I can see why. The systems built into a car are never updated after the point of sale, and so become horribly out of date. But if your phone can just take over the car system, then your phone, which IS up to date, will effectively serve as the face of the system. That might be the route Google needs to go too.

  11. Macaroon.

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