Google’s Android Auto OS talks to your car and Android TV to rival Apple, Amazon & Roku
Google held their annual Google I/O developer conference in San Francisco today in which they unveiled a plethora of updates to its Android mobile operating system (OS) and the announcement of Android Auto and Android TV.
Android Auto is the newest, innovative platform coming out of Google and it promises to revolutionize a driver’s in-car experience. Seamlessly sync your Android smartphone to your car by plugging it in. The in-car screen then displays a simplified version of Android L, the newest version of Android OS. Navigation, communication, and music playing capabilities are a few features of Android Auto. The navigation aspect in Android Auto is perhaps the most impressive feature because of its simplistic integration with the easy-to-use Google Maps. Communication within the car has also become simpler by being able to respond to text messages by utilizing Google Now. A user can even switch up the music on their car’s stereo by pressing a button on the steering wheel and talking to Google Now.
Google announced major partners that are going to implement Android Auto into their cars in the near future. Car companies such as Bentley and Kia have expressed interest in applying the Android Auto system into their cars. Google expressed that the first cars to offer Android Auto should be available by the end of this year.
Furthermore, the vast audience of developers were treated with the news and announcement of Android Auto SDK. This feature allows developers to customize apps to fit their car. There are speculations surrounding safety issues in terms of in-car use because Google did not disclose information on how they, or carmakers, would vet these apps.
Google has tried for years to get into the television game, but alas to no avail. Their first attempt was in 2010 when they launched Google TV, but the product never seemed to catch on. At their I/O developer conference Google unveiled the new and improved Android TV, which boasts a variety of new features and applications that puts this product in direct competition with Apple TV, Amazon Fire TV, and Roku box-sets.
Android TV allows users to control the platform through multiple devices such as smartphones, tablets, and even game console controllers. Change the channel and turn up/down the volume all from your handy mobile device. Google exhibited Android TV’s simple-to-use mirroring/streaming feature that permits a user to effortlessly stream content from their smartphone or tablet onto their big television screen.
Search for movies, television shows, or the actors that play your favorite character by using the Google Now feature through Android TV. Merely ask a question like, “Who plays Jon Snow in Game of Thrones,” and a variety of options should be displayed on the TV screen such as Kit Harington’s other acting credentials, other actors in the television show, and suggestions on what else to watch.
All of this excitement comes a few weeks after Apple held its annual Worldwide Developer’s Conference, in which they too announced advancements in their mobile operating system and their ongoing integration into the automotive field. But Google is not far behind. Android Auto and Android TV are here to stay because they work faultlessly with all Android devices.
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Contributions from Time and CNET