Google has upgraded its in-car software, Android Auto, so that anyone with Android phone can access its features, no matter how old their car is.
Android Auto launched two years ago and more than 200 car models from over 50 different brands now support the software. Despite this success, Google is aware (opens in new tab) that many drivers without in-car touchscreen display are missing out on the connected car experience.
If you have an Android smartphone running 5.0 or later, this new update means that you’ll be able to access Android Auto on your phone.
To use Android Auto, simply connect your phone to a compatible car display or slot it into a car mount on your dashboard and start up the app. Once you do this, Android Auto will present you with all of your favourite apps for traveling, but in a driver-friendly interface that removes unnecessary distractions.
When using Android Auto, you’ll be able to quickly start up music apps such as Spotify or Google Play Music as well as access directions on Google Maps. The hands-free voice commands feature will also allow you to make calls and send messages without taking your hands off the wheel.
Google hopes to improve the voice commands feature over the next few weeks so that drivers will be able to access their apps by saying “OK Google”, allowing for increased focus on the road.
Google says that the update will include the ability to have the app start automatically when paired with Bluetooth to make moving between the smartphone and in-car experiences as seamless as possible. As a result, Google advises that though Android Auto can be used with any car mount, drivers should consider investing in a Bluetooth connected mount to access this feature.
- Want to make the most of Android Auto? Take a look at our in-depth guide