Google updates Android Auto in-car tech, what you need to know – Drive

The merging of technologies between smartphones and automobiles is receiving greater attention from both industries, with the latest update of Android Auto and Google bringing more options for motorists.
Tech giant Google has unveiled the latest version of Android Auto – the system that allows a smartphone running Android software to integrate into a car’s infotainment display.
The hi-tech overhaul – a rival to Apple Car Play – was shown at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas this week.
BMW owners are set to benefit from the outset, with the latest Android software now allowing BMW Digital Keys to be shared and received between Android and Apple smartphones – a feature previously only available through Apple’s iMessage system – with digital key sharing set to roll out to other car manufacturers in the future.
Android Auto users are now given the option to select whether they have a left- or right-hand-drive vehicle, which determines whether Google Maps is positioned on the left or right of the screen when in split-screen mode.
The smaller split screen is called ‘Material You’, and allows the user to find and play their favourite music while displaying album art, or it can be used with another third-party app such as Spotify.
Google says the split screen works on a variety of display sizes and formats, including wide screens and portrait modes.
In a similar way to Apple’s rival CarPlay system, the new Android Auto now has a ‘quick launcher’ feature, displaying the icons of the most recently-used apps for easy access on the side of the screen.
A number of car companies now offer a similar feature to Android Auto, but without the need for a smartphone connection.
Known as Google built-in, the system – which is integrated into the car’s operating system – allows access to Google Maps, Google Assistant, and other apps from the Google Play app store.
Some Renault models with Google built-in can now use the crowd-sourced navigation app Waze, while the Volvo EX90 and Polestar 3 will benefit from Google’s new high-definition maps in selected regions.
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Ben Zachariah is an experienced writer and motoring journalist from Melbourne, having worked in the automotive industry for more than 15 years. Ben was previously an interstate truck driver and completed his MBA in Finance in early 2021. He is considered an expert in the area of classic car investment.
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Copyright 2023ABN: 84 116 608 158
Copyright 2023ABN: 84 116 608 158
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