Five carmakers announce Android Auto rollout plans for 2015

carmakers announce android auto rollout plans in a honda civic

Apple may have garnered plenty of press with its plans for an assault on car dashboards, but now Google is establishing a beachhead of its own.

At the company’s I/O developer conference, Audi, General Motors, Honda, Hyundai, and Volvo announced their plans to launch Android Auto in upcoming models.

This is the first fruit of the Open Automotive Alliance, a coalition of Google, Nvidia, and the automakers begun to bring Android connectivity to the dashboard.

Making its public debut earlier today, Android Auto is essentially Google’s answer to Apple’s Carplay. Like Carplay, it’s designed to bridge the gap between smartphone and in-car infotainment system, giving users access to apps they would normally use while driving, but incorporating the car’s controls in a way designed to minimize distraction.

The system is powered by a driver’s smartphone, allowing them to “project” the same apps and functions onto a car’s infotainment system. Once a compatible phone is connected, Android Auto transfers the interface to the car. The goal is to allow drivers to use features like music, messaging, and navigation, with minimal distraction.

This will be done primarily by trading tapping and swiping for speaking. Among other things, Android Auto includes a messaging function that can read texts and e-mail, and allows the driver to dictate responses.

A car-specific version of Google Maps is also included, and the system will support third-party apps like Spotify and iHeartRadio.

Of course, you won’t have to pair your car and phone purchases. Android Auto adds a layer of Google-specific functionality on top of existing infotainment systems, so other types of phones will still be compatible with the basic system. 

Volvo has already confirmed that it will offer both Android Auto and CarPlay. Apple partners General Motors, Honda, and Hyundai may follow suit.

Each carmaker should have at least one model with Android Auto on sale by the end of 2015. Specifics will have to wait until closer to the launch date, although Volvo said it will debut the system on the redesigned XC90 set to be unveiled at the 2014 Paris Motor Show this fall.

Product Review

Boring takes a back seat as 2019 Corolla Hatchback mixes fun with practicality

We drive the 2019 Toyota Corolla Hatchback, the latest hatchback to bear the Corolla name. As the best-selling nameplate in automotive history, Toyota has high expectations to meet. This model mostly lives up to the legacy.
Cars

The best compact cars pack full-size features in fun-size packages

The best compact cars on the market rival their counterparts in many ways, proving that bigger isn’t always better. Here, we've rounded up some of the better options available, including an SUV and an electric alternative.
Mobile

How to switch from iPhone to Android: The ultimate guide

If you've decided to bridge the great tech divide and leave Apple's walled garden for the unknown shores of Android, then you'll find all the tips and advice you need to begin switching from an iPhone to an Android device.
Mobile

Huawei Nova 4 has a hole in the screen, and a 48-megapixel camera on the back

Huawei has launched the Nova 4, a new smartphone that has abandoned the screen notch and adopted a punch hole alternative, and also has a massive 48-megapixel camera. Here's what you need to know about the Nova 4.
Mobile

Black hole in the screen of Samsung's new Galaxy A8s has a camera inside

Samsung is building exciting, technologically innovative midrange phones, and the latest to be revealed is the new Samsung Galaxy A8s, which may give us an idea of what the new Samsung Galaxy S10 will look like.
Mobile

Score a Christmas deal with Speck’s half-off sale on its entire range of cases

The holidays might be nearing, but bargains don't take time off. To celebrate the last day for U.S. ground shipping, Speck will be offering a sitewide 50-percent-off deal for one day only on Monday December 17.
Mobile

Car-branded phones need to make a U-turn if they ever want to impress

Your car and your smartphone are becoming one, yet smartphones branded or co-created by car companies are a problem. We look at the history, some examples of the best and worst, then share hopes for the future.
Mobile

Doubts emerge over when LG will reveal its folding smartphone

LG may be working on a folding smartphone, making it the latest device manufacturer to be linked to the technology, which may become one of the standout designs of the coming year.
Deals

Save up to $800 with the best smartphone deals for December 2018

Need a better phone but don't want to spend a fortune? It's never a bad time to score a new smartphone and save some cash. We rounded up the best smartphone deals available that can save you as much as $800.
Mobile

Give Rachael Ray a run for her money with these 13 recipe apps

You don’t have to be Gordon Ramsay to make a killer meal, you just need an easy to follow recipe app. We’ve compiled our 13 favorite cooking apps for Android smartphones and iPhones, including countless recipes to suit any taste.
Mobile

You forgot all about these 6 phones of 2018. Prepare to forget them again

The best phones of the year are memorable, exciting, and ones we all want to buy. But what about the others? We're not talking about bad phones, we're talking about forgettable phones -- ones that aren't even bad enough to be remembered.
Mobile

T-Mobile is giving away free iPhone XRs and Galaxy S9s for the holidays

T-Mobile is celebrating the holiday season with a series of deals for customers who want an iPhone XR, Galaxy S9, OnePlus 6T, LG V40, or LG G7. There are terms and conditions to the deals, but they are still worth considering.
Mobile

Why Honor’s new screen is the hole-y grail in quest to ditch the notch

Honor will release a smartphone with an in-screen camera in the new year, a trend which is gathering momentum in the industry. Honor said it has cracked the formula, and explains what's special about its All-View Display.
Mobile

Forget 3 being a crowd, 4 is the magic number on the Huawei P30 Pro

Huawei's sequel to the P20 Pro, the P30 Pro, has already started to leak ahead of its 2019 announcement and release. The company is likely to improve even further on the P20 Pro's excellent camera.