Among other exciting developments at last week’s Google I/O, the company went into more detail about Android Auto, a platform to extend the Android environment to cars. This technology will allow apps on a user’s smart device to continue functioning through the car’s display without third-party accessories or hardware. The goal is seamless transition of the Android ecosystem so it behaves and appears the same way on a car’s dash display as it does on the Android smart device.

If it works as advertised, users will be able to enjoy much of the convenience that their smart device offer. Google Maps, Google Search, and Google Play Music can be accessed via voice recognition. Users can also tell Google to pull up e-mail, text messaging, or voice mail, all while keeping their eyes firmly on the road ahead.

Making Vehicles Compatible with Android Auto

NVIDIA, a visual computing company that’s a backer and collaborator in the Android Auto initiative, will see its new Tegra K1 mobile processor powering many of the tablets to be used in Android Auto vehicles. The Santa Clara company proudly states, “The [Open Automotive Alliance] noted that 25 auto brands have signed on to equip their vehicles with Android Auto, including NVIDIA-powered cars from Bentleys to VWs.”

Together with NVIDIA, Google is creating a standard that seems turnkey and ready-made. To that end, modern vehicles can be easily outfitted with tablets running Google’s Android L operating software, powered by NVIDIA Tegra K1 processors.

Google’s approach relies on simplicity. It is absolutely vital that users are not distracted by their interaction with the device and dashboard in order to maintain focus on the road. The Android Developer’s Blog uses words like “glanceable and simple” and “predictive, yet predictable” to speak to the minimalist user experience, which uses rich text and colors in a clean Spartan styling to safely convey the least amount of pertinent info.

Android in cars turns your ride into a true mobile phone for today’s connected smart device owners. What do you think—is Android Auto a must for your next big car purchase?

Image courtesy of Flickr




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