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After a good decade and a half in-vehicle infotainment is still something of a mess. Practically every automaker has taken its own approach to implementing advanced connectivity technology. And just like freshly fallen snowflakes no two solutions are alike.
Android Auto is the latest product from Google that’s designed as an alternative to CarPlay but for Android users. Similar to the Apple infotainment solution, Android Auto will use your Android smartphone to enable apps and extra features while driving. Continue Reading…
The Android mobile operating system from Google has become Apple’s number one competitor in the mobile smartphone market, but now Android’s open-source philosophy is really flexing its muscles.
Integrating Android into vehicles is now the target for many aftermarket car stereo companies, and Rydeen recently showed off a cool prototype at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Rydeen is very close to having a complete double-DIN stereo head unit running Android 2.2, otherwise known as Froyo and can be seen running within the rear-view mirror.
Rydeen is currently treating this project as a learning experience, but hopes by next year it’ll have a finalized mirror with a simplified interface more appropriate for drivers. Those that have had the chance to use Android sometimes complain that it’s not as user-friendly as Apple’s iOS, but the great thing about Android is its versatility to be customized for an entirely new user experience.
Of course by the time this technology is ready to be consumed by the public, Android should be well into its fifth iteration that is rumored to be called Jelly Bean. Mmmm, jelly beans are so much better than frozen yogurt.
Check out a video of a hands-on with the Android integration after the break.
After announcing Android’s Open Accessory Protocol at this year’s Google I/O, techies around the world began brainstorming the integration possibilities of smartphones and tablets into even more of our everyday devices. Harman has now become the first major technology partner within the automotive industry to offer the new connectivity standard, which will allow users to seamlessly sync their smartphone or tablet to their vehicle. This will allow easily access to music, movie or navigation apps through the car’s dashboard or steering wheel controls.
Harman has been known for its adoption of several technology platforms, having no bias towards any major manufacturer. Their products are known to sync seamlessly with Apple’s iOS, RIM’s Blackberry platform and Nokia’s existing mobile systems. Android’s integration will be offered across all Harman infotainment platforms.
With the Android Open Accessory Protocol, drivers will be able to safely start their music apps through voice activation or steering wheel controls; built-in navigation systems will benefit from popular apps to discover nearby points-of-interests, while passengers will benefit from streaming content to their entertainment devices in the rear seats.
The Accessory Protocol is built into Android 3.1 Honeycomb tablet devices and any Android smartphone running 2.3.4 (Gingerbread) or later.
Google and General Motors are reportedly in negotiations to partner on an in-car telematics system that would take aim at Ford and Microsoft’s SYNC system. Rumored to be a derivative of the Android operating system, it would apparently go beyond entertainment and connectivity features and allow owners to unlock and start their cars, something SYNC isn’t capable of doing yet.
One aspect of the potential tie-up is whether GM or Google would take over the GPS navigation systems, as both GM’s Onstar and Google’s Android have their own proprietary navigation systems.