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12 May 2022

What’s new with Android for Cars

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Posted by Jennifer Chui, Technical Program Manager and Rod Lopez, Product Manager

animated car dashboard 

At Google, our work in cars has always been guided by our vision of creating safe and seamless connected experiences. This work would not be possible without developers like you. We’re excited to share some of our combined accomplishments from this past year, and introduce new updates that will make it easier for you to provide users with an even better experience in the car.

Android Auto continues to grow and scale, with compatible vehicles now numbering over 150 million worldwide. An increasing number are also wirelessly compatible, and with the newly introduced Motorola MA1 adapter, even more drivers now have access to a wireless experience. In addition, our new design for Android Auto brings split-screen functionality to every screen, keeping navigation and media front and center while also providing room for prominent notification widgets.

View of the Android Automotive dashboard 

Android Automotive OS with Google built-in also has exciting updates. Beyond the continued expansion of carmakers that are bringing more car models to the market, we’ve also been hard at work enabling more parked experiences to take advantage of the large screens that many AAOS cars offer. From more video streaming apps like Epix Now and Tubi to future features like browsing and cast, there’s much to look forward to, and given minimal effort is required to translate your large screen tablet apps into a parked car experience, it’s now easier than ever to reach users in the car.

View of the Android Automotive dashboard 

We know that developing for cars can be complex, which is why we’re focused on making developing across Android for Cars as easy as possible. We’ve seen strong momentum with our Car App Library with over 200 apps published to date, and beyond enriching the navigation feature set with version 1.3, we’re also excited to share that all developers can now publish apps in supported categories directly to production for both Android Auto and Android Automotive OS. We’ve also created new templates and expanded our supported app categories, adding driver apps like Lyft to the navigation category, and replacing the parking and charging categories with a comprehensive point of interest (POI) category to include apps like MochiMochi and Fuelio.

We’re also introducing several new features to help you build more powerful media apps on Android Auto. Media recommendations working side by side with Google Assistant helps users easily discover and quickly play relevant content based on their preferred music provider at the click of a button. To surface recommendations from your app, integrate with this API.

For long form content such as podcasts and audiobooks, you can now introduce a progress bar that shows how much of the content the user has previously listened to, and with our new single item styling API, you can now assign content items individually as either list or grid as opposed to categorically, to easily combine them in the same content space.

View of the Android Automotive dashboard 

We’re grateful to have you on the journey with us as we seek to create safer, more seamless connected experiences in cars. Be sure to check out our Google I/O technical session above, and as always, you can get help from the developer community at Stack Overflow using the android-automotive and android-auto tags. We can’t wait to see what you build next, and where the road takes you.