Formerly available in just eleven countries, Android Auto has added 18 countries today to the list of countries where support will be available.
Android Auto’s biggest roll-out yet
Today Google announced support for an additional 11 countries including three of the fastest growing auto markets: India, Russia, and Brazil.
Additionally, support will be offered to nearly the whole of Central America and South America. The full list is in addition to the aforementioned three is: Argentina, Venezuela, Bolivia, Uruguay, Brazil, Peru, Chile, Paraguay, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Panama, Costa Rica, Ecuador and Austria.
As Puerto Rico isn’t a country, Google seemed to confirm that with the following tweet: “Full speed ahead. #AndroidAuto is now available in 18 new countries: AR AT BO BR CH CL CO CR DO EC GT IN PA PE PY RU UY VE , plus PR too!” That tweet also included flag emojis for all those that would see today’s roll-out less you think that Arkansas and Colorado were added to the list when the whole of the U.S was the first country to see Android Auto.
Apple’s CarPlay certainly still has a lead when you consider that it’s available in China and Apple’s support for CarPlay presently totals 33 countries.
Android Auto’s App gets and upgrade as well
Google’s new build, Android Auto v1.6 is meant to address one of the biggest criticisms of the system and that was the ability to access your full music library from from your car. Prior to the new build ,where Google has promised to have this fixed this issue, you were only allowed to access your playlists, voice searches, and radio stations.
It took quite some time given that the first build of Android Auto was released in 2014. Build v1.6 also promises to make accessing the apps on your phone from your car’s dashboard considerably easier through enhanced connectivity.
“Android Auto brings the most useful apps from your phone to your car’s screen, optimized for glanceability and readability while driving,” says Google in the Google Play store. “Android Auto requires an active data connection to fully utilized these apps and may require updates to some of your existing apps, such as Google Maps, Google Play Music, or the Google Search app.”
Android Auto, quite simply, will not work if you don’t have an Android device running at least Lollipop (5.0) AND a compatible car. You can enjoy limited connectivity with aftermarket stereos equipped to work with the Android Auto app on your device. Presently, only certain models of car stereos by these companies allow for this but many more will be coming with Pioneer rumored to be ready to launch their own soon.
Presently their are a number of auto makers building cars that work with Android App including (alphabetically): Audi, Buick, Cadillac,Chevrolet, Ford, GMC, Holden, Honda, Hyundai, Kia, Mitsubishi, Opel, Seat, Skoda, Vauxhall, Volkswagen and Volvo.
As Android continues to dominate the world market, it wouldn’t be a surprise if Google announces more alliances with automakers on a fairly regular basis and if you don’t have a car offering car-phone connectivity, your next new car will surely offer either Android Auto, Apple CarPlay compatibility or both. Certainly, it will if you wait two years time before your next purchase.
While a long ways from autonomous these offerings are showing where the future lies.