Google’s Android Car Move That Pokes Apple

Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL)’s Google Android car updated has added a twist to the race for the control of car dashboard. Apple, which has a rival product called CarPlay, may have to react or risk falling far behind the in-car navigation systems market.

Google has updated Android Auto, its in-car system, so that drivers can use it without the need for a dedicated display or compatible vehicle. If you’ve been long for Android Auto experience but lacked the traditional prerequisite, Google now allows you to experience it on your phone.

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As long as you have an Android handset that runs Android 5.0 or a later version, you can install Google Android car app and enjoy the Android Auto experience on your small screen. Though you won’t have access to every feature of the in-car system, Google has made sure you can access the essential services.

If you launch Android Auto on your phone, you will access services such as Google Maps and be able to control music volume and see phone calls. However, Android Auto app on the handset restricts access to apps like Twitter and Gmail. Those with compatible car and display have full access to these services behind the wheel.

The mobile version of the in-car navigation systems also still lacks voice interaction at launch, but Google has promised to add it soon.

Google Android car update lowers the bar

Google’s move to enable Android Auto access on phone has lowered the bar for drivers who may have wished to enjoy the service but lacked the prerequisites. The company first said it would update the in-car navigation app for mobile access at its developer conference in May this year.

“The interface will be tailored for the phone,” Brady said, “but immediately recognizable as Android Auto,” Patrick Brady, director of Android engineering, said at the time.

In the past drivers who wanted to enjoy Android Auto had to either buy a new car that has the feature the software preinstalled or overhaul their car dashboard. The requirement was the same for Apple’s CarPlay. But with Google eliminating the barriers to entry to Google Android car, Apple faces pressure to catch up with the rival.

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