Android Auto new features Google Cast

Google’s recent Keynotes (I/O 2024) was all about Gemini AI and the new features coming to Android. While the Android maker did not mention anything about Android Auto in particular, their latest blog post, Android for cars, reveal what’s coming to Android Auto, built-in Google cars, and Android Automotive OS (AAOS)

For one, you can now enjoy episodes of your favorite shows on Max and Peacock, or play Angry Birds in select cars equipped with Google built-in, now available in models like the Acura ZDX and Ford Explorer.

Additionally, Google Cast (formerly Chromecast built-in) will be integrated into cars with Android Automotive OS, starting with Rivian in the coming months. This feature allows you to seamlessly cast video content from your phone or tablet to your car’s display, providing even more entertainment options.

What’s new with Android Auto and Android Automotive OS?

Google brings new features and quality tiers for apps in Android Auto and Android Automotive OS (AAOS) Google also opens new developer program expanding selection of mobile and tablet apps to your car.

Google Cast Support for In-Car Entertainment

One of the most exciting announcements is the introduction of Google Cast support for cars running AAOS, starting with Rivian. This feature allows users to cast videos from their phones directly to the car’s display while it’s parked.

Imagine watching your favorite series or streaming a movie right from your car’s infotainment system during a road trip break or while waiting in the parking lot.

YouTube video

New Car App Quality Tiers

Google has introduced new quality tiers to streamline the process of adapting existing apps for cars. These tiers ensure that apps provide a great user experience while addressing unique automotive considerations such as safety and varied screen sizes. The tiers include:

  • Tier 1: Car Differentiated – Apps specifically designed for the diverse hardware in cars, adaptable to both driving and parked modes, and optimized for various screens like the center console and instrument cluster.
  • Tier 2: Car Optimized – Apps that provide a strong in-car experience with some car-specific engineering, suitable for both driving and parked modes.
  • Tier 3: Car Ready – Apps compatible with large screens, enabled while the car is parked, and requiring minimal additional development work.

Accelerating App Availability with Car Ready Mobile Apps Program

To expedite the integration of mobile apps into cars, Google has launched the Car Ready Mobile Apps Program. This initiative aims to bring mobile apps to cars without additional development work from developers.

Google will review adaptive and large screen-compatible mobile apps to ensure they are safe and compatible with in-car use. Qualified apps will automatically be distributed on cars with Google built-in and made available in Android Auto.

The Car Ready mobile apps program will accelerate the availability of apps on Android Auto. This program will proactively review mobile apps that fall under Tier 3 and automatically opt them in for distribution on a suitable Android platform for cars.

Initially, this program will focus on parked app categories such as video streaming, gaming, and web browsing, with plans to expand to more categories in the future. This initiative will likely see a rapid increase in the variety of apps available to car users without requiring developers to make significant changes to their existing apps.

New Apps for Android Auto

Several new apps are set to make their debut on Android Auto and AAOS, enhancing both utility and entertainment options for users:

  • Uber Driver App: Now available for Android Auto, making navigation and ride management easier for Uber drivers.
  • Max and Peacock: Streaming apps that will soon be accessible in select cars with Google built-in.
  • Angry Birds: The popular mobile game is making its way to car displays, adding a fun diversion for passengers.

Tools for Developers: Emulators and System Images

To support developers in optimizing their apps for the diverse range of car displays and configurations, Google has introduced new tools:

  • Emulators for Distant and Panoramic Displays: These allow developers to test how their apps will look and perform on different screen types.
  • OEM Screen Design Emulators: Enable developers to adjust their app interfaces to match the specific designs of various car manufacturers.
  • AAOS System Image for Pixel Tablet: Aids in developing and testing apps specifically for AAOS, ensuring compatibility and performance.

Download Android Auto

Android Auto just got a major version change to 12.0. You can download the latest Android Auto 12 beta here with new features.

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