Browse Waze or Google Maps, listen to messages received on WhatsApp, control Spotify with voice commands … Just a few examples of what is possible to do through the screens of the car infotainment systems that support Android Auto. In practice, this system allows you to interact on the car screen with apps that are running on your smartphone.
To use Android Auto it is necessary, in addition to the support from the car, to install the app with the same name on the smartphone. But, until now, this app was not yet available on the Portuguese Google Play, although it is possible to install it unofficially (through other sources, which could create security problems). What will be resolved starting today: Google has announced that it will start making the Android Auto app available to users with Google accounts registered in Portugal. As usual, this new service should not be available to all users at the same time.
In addition to Portugal, Android Auto today reaches 35 more countries, thus increasing the number of potential users of this system. According to Google, by the end of this year there should be 100 million cars with support for Android Auto. In fact, in the cars that Exame Informática has analyzed, it has become common to find support for Android Auto and Apple CarPlay – Apple’s competitor system, which was already available in Portugal.
Advanced technology in more affordable cars
One of the great advantages of this system is the ability to add advanced infotainment features to cars, such as navigation with real-time traffic information (Waze or Google Maps) and interaction with natural voice commands (to reply to a message, for example) . Functionalities often superior to the equivalents developed by the automobile brands and which are often only available in models of higher segments or through expensive options.
For the time being, the standard connection between the smartphone and the car is physical, via USB cable – with Android Auto installed on the smartphone, just connect the cable and the system will start automatically. But, according to Google, more and more models will support Android Auto through wireless connections.
In a digital event where Exame Informática is exclusively national, the representatives of Google announced other developments of Android Auto, with emphasis on the addition of support for touchpads and trackpads, which are already used in several cars, improvements in research in multimedia applications ( Spotify, for example), support for group messaging and the ability of the Android Auto interface to adapt to more elongated screens, increasingly common in new car models.
You can see how Android Auto works in this video