Many of today’s cars have integrated voice-activated features, smarter infotainment systems, and dashboard navigation tools. Most of these aren’t fully developed yet, though, and could use some improvement. So, Google has taken matters into their own hands through Android Auto.
Android Auto was initially released to be integrated by car manufacturers into their own systems. But vehicle makers are taking it slow when it comes to using the application. Aside from that, people don’t actually upgrade their cars as often as they do their mobile phones. So, many are driving vehicles that do not support integration with Android Auto.
This is why Google developed the app into a stand-alone one. So, now you only need your phone to take full advantage of its helpful features. No need to worry about your car’s ability to support it.
One of the areas that Android Auto can benefit you is in safety. It will help you drive smarter and will assist in keeping yourself and your passengers away from accidents.
It improves the way you navigate
Getting lost can lead to all kinds of trouble. You might find yourself in a neighborhood that is not safe for you, your children, or your pet in the car. You might wind up in the middle of nowhere, and what if you get a flat tire there or run out of gas? These possibilities can be scary. Aside from that, losing your way can be frustrating and a huge waste of time.
Enter Android Auto – it will help you make sure you always get to wherever you are going. It doesn’t matter if you’ve not been to your destination before. The app will be your handy navigation partner. Not only will it give you turn-by-turn directions (with assistance from Google Maps), it provides real-time traffic updates as well. All you have to do is tap the navigation button or activate it via an “Ok Google” command.
Prefer Waze instead of Google Maps as your navigation tool? Android Auto’s ability to integrate Waze is currently in beta testing so it won’t be long until you will be using it within the Android Auto interface.
It helps you avoid distractions
Distractions can be the bane of all drivers. Just a few seconds of inattention can lead to serious road accidents. In fact, the news is filled with reports about car crashes due to a driver being too busy with their phones. This is such a considerable matter that the country has outlawed using your phone while driving.
With all that considered, Android Auto will help you stay focused. You need not fiddle with your phone while you’re driving, even if you just received a message.
When you receive a text message, the app will read it aloud for your convenience. Then, it will ask you if you wish to send a reply. All of these will be hands-free so you can focus on the wheel. Don’t want to dictate a reply? Use the “I’m driving right now” option, which will send this exact message to the sender. Want to call someone while driving? Simply say, “Ok Google, call (insert name here)”.
Aside from that, Android Auto’s interface utilizes a cards system, similar to what you get in Google Now. It will readily present weather information and navigation suggestions based on your previous destinations. Simply touch a card to receive turn-by-turn directions or swipe card to the right to get rid of it. Assuming that your phone is mounted on the dashboard, this should be easy to do without affecting your focus on the road.
Since Android Auto falls under the infotainment category, it isn’t only a tool that informs and assists, it can meet your entertainment needs as well.
Listen to your favorite tunes
Android Auto supports Google Play Music, Spotify, Pocket Casts, and MLB.com At Bat. This means that you can listen to your favorite music and audio content anytime, anywhere. Tap and hold down the headphone icon to activate the list of music players. Tap whichever you like to use and that’s it – you can now rock out inside your car to your heart’s content!
Sure, the supported music players are limited for now. But we all know Google and they are always looking for ways to provide more content to their users. In the meantime, access road trip-themed music on Spotify or Google Play Music and be on your merry way. Best of all, you can skip or pause songs via voice commands. So, whether you like listening to pop, ballad, rock, or metal, one thing is for sure – drives won’t be so boring with Android Auto!
Improve Communication Between Your Phone and Other Car Systems
If your car has an existing smart system and you want to take advantage of that too, let Android Auto connect to it. The app can tap into your vehicle’s speaker system, for example, to enhance your music listening experience.
You can also customize the app’s settings so that it launches automatically once you connect it to your vehicle via Bluetooth. This way, you don’t have to keep setting up your phone and get the app going every time you dock your device.
Installing and Mounting Android Auto
As you can see, Android Auto is a pretty solid app that is helpful to a lot of drivers.
To install it, simply download it from the Google Play store. You’ll need at least Android version 5.0 running your device. Additionally, you’ll have to enable several permissions, including access to your location, contacts, microphone, and Wi-Fi connection.
Once installed, make it even easier on yourself to use this app. This means finding a reliable way to position your phone on your car’s dashboard. Some people rely on duct tape to do this, but there is actually on-dash gear that you can use. They’re more stable and less messy compared to duct tape.
On-dash and vent mounts can easily be purchased on Amazon or in a tech store near you. These will keep your phone firmly in place and in good view.
So, what are you waiting for? Try out the Android Auto app now and experience how it can improve your driving!