Dec 18th, 2014 publishUpdated   Aug 18th, 2015, 8:45 am

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.