What’s new with Android for Cars

Posted by Jennifer Chui, Technical Program Manager, and Rod Lopez, Product Manager

animated car dashboard

At Google, our work with cars has always been guided by our vision of creating safe and seamless connected experiences. This work would not be possible without developers like you. We are happy to share some of our overall performance from the past year and introduce new updates that will make it easier for you to give users an even better experience in the car.

Android Auto continues to grow and scale, with compatible vehicles now numbering over 150 million worldwide. An increasing number are also wirelessly compatible, and with the newly introduced Motorola MA1 adapter, even more drivers now have access to a wireless experience. In addition, our new design for Android Auto brings split-screen functionality to each screen, keeping navigation and media at the center, while also providing space for prominent notification widgets.

Viewing the Android Automotive Dashboard

Android Automotive OS with Google built-in also has exciting updates. In addition to the continued expansion of automakers bringing more car models to market, we have also worked hard to enable more parked experiences to take advantage of the large screens that many AAOS cars offer. From multiple video streaming apps like Epix Now and Tubi to future features like browsing and cast, there’s a lot to look forward to, and since minimal effort is required to translate your large-screen tablet apps into a parked car experience, it’s now easier than ever to reach users in the car.

Viewing the Android Automotive Dashboard

We know that development for cars can be complex, which is why we are focused on making development across Android for cars as easy as possible. We have seen strong momentum with our car app library with over 200 apps released to date, and in addition to enriching the navigation feature set with version 1.3, we are also pleased to share that all developers can now release apps in supported categories directly for production to both Android Auto and Android Automotive OS. We’ve also created new templates and expanded our supported app categories, added driver apps like the Lift to Navigation category, and replaced the parking and charging categories with a comprehensive POI category to include apps like MochiMochi and Fuelio.

We’re also introducing several new features to help you build more powerful media apps on Android Auto. Media Recommendations, which work side by side with Google Assistant, help users easily find and quickly play relevant content based on their favorite music provider at the click of a button. To view recommendations from your app, integrate with this API.

For long format content such as podcasts and audiobooks, you can now introduce a status bar that shows how much of the content the user has previously listened to, and with our new single item styling API, you can now assign content items individually as one of the list. or grid as opposed to categorical, to easily combine them into the same content space.

Viewing the Android Automotive Dashboard

We are grateful to have you on the journey with us as we seek to create safer, more hassle-free connected experiences in cars. Be sure to check out our Google I / O technical session above, and as always, you can get help from the developer community at Stack Overflow by using android-automotive and android-auto tags. We can not wait to see what you build next and where the road leads you.

William

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